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April 18, 2014

Recent Disposition of Atlanta Division Cases Covered in Prior Posts

Below, we update the status of four intellectual property cases that had been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division.  Three of them have been terminated, and the fourth, while not terminated, includes a recent entry of a consent injunction.

ARAC and Cedar Valley Settle Dispute Over Color Orange Trademarks

As reported in our July 18, 2012 post, ARAC filed a declaratory judgment action in the Northern District of Georgia against Cedar Valley, seeking a judgment that Cedar Valley's color orange trademarks, used in the field of general contracting services, are functional and have not acquired distinctiveness or secondary meaning, and, as a result, that the mark registrations be cancelled.  In a Joint Stipulation of Dismissal filed on October 24, 2012 pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a)(1)(A)(ii), the parties represented that they entered into a Settlement Agreement on October 10, 2012.  As a result, the case is now closed.  

Notice of Dismissal Filed in Wrapping Paper Copyright Case

Our August 24, 2012 post discussed a lawsuit brought in the Atlanta Division against Wal-Mart and its supplier, alleging that they infringed five copyrights owned by the plaintiff for wrapping paper designs. On November 7, 2012, the plaintiff, International Greetings USA, Inc., filed a Notice of Dismissal as to both defendants under Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a)(1)(A)(i), a procedure available when a defendant has not yet filed either an answer to the complaint or a motion for summary judgment.  On November 8, the Clerk of Court approved and entered the Notice, and the case was terminated.

Notice of Dismissal Filed in Patent Case Regarding Gutter Downspout Extensions

Our August 30, 2012  post summarized a patent infringement complaint filed in the Atlanta Division by Alpharetta-based Invisaflow, LLC (“Invisavlow”) against Norcross-based Euramax International, Inc. and Euramax Holdings, Inc. (collectively, "Euramax"), identifying Euramax’s “EXTEND-A-Spout™ Low Profile Drainage System” as the accused product.  On October 18, 2012, Invisaflow filed a Notice of Dismissal.  That same day, the Clerk of Court approved the Notice, and the case was terminated.

Consent Injunction Entered in Case Over IP Surrounding Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse

The "Vampires" portion of our post titled “Hip-Hop, Christmas, and Vampires: 3 New Copyright Cases Filed in Atlanta Division” (09/21/12) discussed a complaint and preliminary injunction motion primarily dealing with copyright and trademark rights claimed in connection with the games known as Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse.  On October 19, 2012, U.S. District Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr. entered a Consent Order Granting Permanent Injunctive Relief.  In that Consent Order, the defendant iFree Studio Limited (“iFree”), based in Hong Kong and Shanghai, China, agreed to remove, by October 23, “any and all of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted and trademarked material from its game, Vampire War, all websites (including www.vampire-war.com), other material offered for sale or distribution by [iFree] in any manner.”  Subsequent paragraphs in the Consent Order specifically list each of the copyrighted and trademarked items to be removed.  iFree was also required by the Consent Order to notify the plaintiffs of compliance with those removal directives by noon (EST) on October 23, and the plaintiffs had to then dismiss the action within 30 days after receiving such notice from iFree. That 30-day period has not yet elapsed, and the case has not yet been officially terminated.

Copyright © 2014 Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC. All Rights Reserved.

About the Author

Preston H Heard, Womble Carlyle Law Firm, Intellectual Property Attorney
Partner

Preston Heard is an experienced patent litigation attorney who represents clients in a variety of industries, including the mechanical, computer and chemical sectors, in patent-related disputes.

 A registered patent attorney, Preston has represented patent clients in U.S. District Court in numerous states, as well as before the U.S. International Trade Commission. He works with patent owners to devise overall strategies to protect and enforce patent rights and to assess potential patent-related claims. He also works with clients to develop effective defenses against patent...

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