Articles Posted in U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals

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Dissatisfied with the settlement of a trademark case, plaintiffs filed suit on March 30, 2009 in the Superior Court of New Jersey, alleging legal malpractice and related claims. The complaint was served on one defendant on April 14, but others (law firm) were served on April 23. More than 30 days after the first defendant was served but less than 30 days after the law firm was served, the law firm filed a notice of removal. On May 22, plaintiffs filed a motion to remand the action to state court. The federal district court denied remand, finding that the removal was timely under the later-served rule. The Third Circuit affirmed. The later-served rule, under which each defendant gets his own 30-day window, represents a better reading of the language of 28 U.S.C. 1446(b) and results in more equitable treatment to later-served defendants. View "Delalla v. Hanover Ins. Co" on Justia Law

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Two multi-national distilleries have engaged in a lengthy dispute over the use of the words "Havana Club" to sell rum in the United States. Most recently the district held that defendant's use of the words on its label is not a false advertisement of the rum’s geographic origin under Section 43(a)(1)(B) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1125(a)(1)(B). The Third Circuit affirmed, holding that no reasonable interpretation of the label as a whole, which includes a statement that it is "distilled and crafted in Puerto Rico," could lead a reasonable consumer to a false or misleading conclusion. The court declined to address whether the term is subject to trademark protection. View "Pernod Ricard USA LLC v. Bacardi U.S.A. Inc." on Justia Law

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The state notified a concert promoter that use of two names might violate New Jersey trademark laws. The promoter provided evidence of common law trademarks, but the state notified the hotel venue to advertise the shows as a "tribute" or "salute" to named groups. The promoter filed suit, claiming that the state's enforcement violated the federal Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1125 and its civil rights. The district court entered a temporary restraining order, but the state changed its position. The court did not issue an injunction and denied attorney fees under 42 U.S.C. 1988. The Third Circuit affirmed, rejecting arguments under the "catalyst" theory and holding that the promoter was not a "prevailing party." Even the judge did not consider the TRO an enforceable judgment on the merits and the state's change of position mooted the constitutional issues. View "Singer Mgmt. Consultants, Inc.v. Milgram" on Justia Law