In Veera v. Banana Republic, LLC, a California Court of Appeal recently reversed a judgment in favor of Banana Republic in a false advertising class action based on in-store ads promoting a 40% off sale. The plaintiffs alleged they were lured into Banana Republic stores after seeing ads in store windows stating "40% off." Plaintiffs learned at the cash register that the discount did not apply to the items they wanted to purchase. Out of frustration and embarrassment, plaintiffs claim they bought some but not all of the items they selected at full price. They later sued for violations of California's Unfair Competition Law ("UCL") at Business and Professions Code sections 17200 and 17500, claiming the "40% Off" signs were misleading because they did not disclose that the discount only applied to certain items.
California businesses and owners who are obligated to submit to the discretion of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board may not have the right to undertake further litigation once a decision has been handed down, according to a ruling from the United States Supreme Court. In a 7-2 decision, the Court held that a precedent exists for the TTAB to hold ultimate discretionary authority concerning certain trademark law decisions.
The maker of the Norton antivirus software, Symantec Corp, of Mountain View, Calif., lost its battle with Intellectual Ventures in a patent infringement case. A federal jury decided that Symantec had to pay $17 million in damages after finding that two out of three claims of patent infringement were valid.
In the world of intellectual property and trademark laws, much is at stake. A company's reputation can be deeply damaged if a competitor infringes on intellectual property or otherwise unfairly competes. These disputes can arise in a wide variety of circumstances, and many businesses are caught off guard. It helps to have legal support with experience in protecting profits by stopping unfair competition in all its forms.
A popular e-commerce shoe and clothing site, Just Fab, has filed a lawsuit against another similar retailer, Fab.com, alleging trademark infringement, unfair competition and other claims. The suit was filed on July 24 in the U.S. Central District of California.