This past week, Plaintiff JJ Holland sued the Minneapolis law firm Fredrikson & Byron for attorney malpractice for a trademark application that went wrong. The case is pending before the Honorable Ann D. Montgomery (D. Minn.).
In 2000, JJ Holland hired Fredrikson to file an intent to use application for the YES! trademark. The application claimed the trademark for use on 21 different goods including cigarettes and related products like lighters and cigars but it was only using the trademark on cigarettes. When JJ Holland was ready to have the mark registered, Fredrikson lawyers allegedly advised that this posed no problem. It was a problem.
With the passing of another “Cyber Monday” comes the not so secret news that consumers are comfortable (and eager) to shop for goods and services on the internet more than ever before. While this trend is lucrative to online suppliers, it puts local affiliate retailers in a bind. How can the local retailers stay in business if their customers are buying the same products from the supplier’s online store?
In two lawsuits, Reshare Commerce, LLC alleges that two separate groups of defendants (insurance companies: State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance and American Family Mutual Automobile Insurance; and commercial entities: Creative Memories and Demalogica, Inc.) have infringed on its patent, which is designed to help local retailers weather this problem. The defendants have all denied infringing on the patent and some have asserting counterclaims for declaratory judgment. Interestingly, Reshare has previously sued companies for infringing on the same patent.
Recently, U.S. Judge Ann D. Montgomery (D. Minn.) ruled on a combined motion on the construction of 11 disputed terms in Reshare’s patent and gave a very look into how a court construes words in patents. Continue reading
This summer has been one of the hottest on record for the Twin Cities (as well as the nation). To me, after being bombarded with seemingly endless heat, there are few things better than going to a water park (or taking a trip down a Slip n’ Slide). Building a large water park, particularly an indoor park, however, is a massive undertaking that requires enormous capital to finance and construct rides like the “Howlin’ Tornado” and “River Canyon Run.” Following close behind the challenge of getting money for such a project comes the obligation to repay, of course.
One bank, of many, that helped finance an indoor water park project in Washington State brought suit in Minnesota seeking a preliminary injunction before a large payment on the construction loan was to come due by the borrower on August 1, 2012. The bank argued that if the court doesn’t issue the injunction, it could be forced to take a deep dive into a dry pit (also known as “irreparable harm”) on its rights as a lender party to a participation agreement.
Update (July 31, 2012): There is evidence that repeated and flagrant violations of Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is a bad business model.
Original post (July 26, 2012): Minnesota Litigator has previously reported on Minneapolis attorney William Butler’s wholly unsuccessful attempts to defend against foreclosure actions using the debunked “show me the note” theory (linked here). More recently, our coverage (linked here) has focused on sanctions of $100,000 leveled against Butler for asserting claims that were meritless and explicitly rejected by the Minnesota Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
If you’re sanctioned twice for bringing identical claims, don’t you think the court is trying to tell you something? Well, he didn’t listen. After Butler filed another suit, apparently attempting fly under the radar by not mentioning the “show me the note” defense explicitly, U.S. District Court Judge Ann Montgomery (D. Minn.) sanctioned Butler $75,000. Judge Montgomery wisely read between the lines finding that Butler’s Complaint was, as Yogi Berra put it, “déjà vu all over again.”
Update #3 (May 17, 2011): The Mooney class action was filed in U.S. District Court (District of Minnesota) in February, 2006. Anyone who wants to track the long hard road of nationwide class action litigation should read the string of posts below and U.S. District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery’s decision, issued last week, in which Defendant Allianz sought (unsuccessfully) to broaden the application of favorable rulings to put all of the cases against based on similar allegations across the country finally to rest.
Update #2 (February 1, 2011): If you don’t succeed, try, try again, and again, and again, and again, and again…. (?) A victorious defendant might have other ideas…(Allianz moves for an injunction to halt second, third, fourth, fifth, etc., “bites at the apple.”) The case is before U.S. District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery (D. Minn.).
(February 1, 2010): Minnesota Litigator reported a serious defeat for plaintiffs’ class action lawyers in the Mooney v. Allianz case late last year. Plaintiffs’ counsel sought to salvage some benefit from this long battle by seeking injunctive relief which, if awarded, would have given them attorneys’ fees. (The jury had found that defendant Allianz “use[d] a misrepresentation or deceptive practice in the course of selling its two-tiered annuities” and “intend[ed] that others would rely on the misrepresentation or deceptive practice,” but that none of the class members were “harmed as a direct result of the misrepresentation or deceptive practice.”) Plaintiffs had two theories, both of which the Court (U.S. District Court Judge Ann Montgomery (D. Minn.)) rejected.