Procedural Posture

Procedural Posture

In plaintiff corporation’s trademark infringement action against defendant corporation brought pursuant to 15 U.S.C.S. §1121, defendant moved for summary judgment.

Overview

Plaintiff corporation brought action against defendant corporation after defendant began to use a name and a star symbol similar to plaintiff’s. In determining defendant’s motion for summary judgment, the court considered whether the marks were likely to confuse the public. The court found that ordinary geometric shapes were regarded as non-distinctive and protectable only upon proof of secondary meaning. The court also found that the marks were visually dissimilar, a finding that defendant’s marketing and presentation of goods could not alter. The court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment where there was no likelihood of confusion and no credible evidence presented of actual confusion. Plaintiff was represented by a litigation attorney san diego.

Outcome

Where geometric shapes were not regarded as non-distinctive and there was no likelihood of confusion between parties’ marks, the court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

Procedural Posture

Petitioner clients challenged a decision from respondent Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), which determined that their fraud action against real party in interest accountants was not a class action and reclassified the matter as a limited civil case.

Overview

One of the accountants was not properly licensed. However, he continued to perform work as a certified public accountant. The clients filed an action against the accountants, which alleged a violation of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 1750 et seq, unlawful and fraudulent business practices, and negligent misrepresentation. The trial court determined that the complaint did not state a class action, and it reclassified the case as a limited civil action. The clients then sought review. In reversing, the court determined that the trial court abused its discretion when it ordered the case reclassified. The trial court was required to give notice and an opportunity to be heard before deciding to reclassify the case. Moreover, the trial court also abused its discretion in failing to provide the clients with time to conduct discovery, write briefs, and present evidence on the issue of whether the cases constituted class actions. Further, there was no evidence that the actions would have “necessarily” fell short of the jurisdictional amount required. There was insufficient evidence presented regarding the amount of restitution owed to unnamed class members.

Outcome

The court issued a peremptory writ, which ordered the trial court to vacate its order reclassifying the clients’ case as a limited civil action and denying certification for the class actions.