Intellectual Property / Advertising Injury

 

 

 

Secrest Wardle’s Intellectual Property Practice Group prosecutes and defends copyright, trademark, trade dress, service mark, and advertising injury actions (including defamation, false advertising, and comparative advertising) in federal and state courts and arbitrates domain name disputes.  Significant copyright and trademark cases defended include:

Copyright 

Defendant was sued in a copyright infringement case claiming $40 million in damages for infringement of business plans, procedures, manuals, and operating materials.  A motion for summary judgment was filed which argued that the documents were first published under the copyright statute that required a copyright designation to be affixed and were, therefore, in the public domain and not protected by the Act.  While awaiting the court’s decision, the case was settled for an extremely favorable figure.

The Firm defended a copyright action seeking injunctive relief and damages for the infringement of a collection of cartoon drawings that were accompanied by humorous tag lines.  Our experts established through historical presentation that there are a limited number of basic designs that can be used in minimalist drawings to depict various human emotions.  The court agreed that one cannot copyright an idea as opposed to artistic expression and granted our motion for summary judgment.

The Firm has defended numerous copyright cases in which our clients allegedly infringed upon copyrighted architectural drawings in the construction of residential and commercial homes.

Secrest Wardle defended claims of copyright infringement which involved reproducing audio-visual training materials that were distributed over a network computer system.  The case was ultimately resolved for a very reasonable settlement.

Trademark

The Firm defended a multi-million dollar trademark and dilution claim brought by a major automobile manufacturer against an after-market supplier.  Although an injunction had been issued before we were retained, we succeeded in dramatically reducing the sanctions and attorney fees assessed.

The Intellectual Property Practice Group’s attorneys defended a top 25 OEM supplier in claims involving trademark infringement, as well as copyright infringement, brought by the OEM supplier’s advertising agency.  After conducting strategic discovery, a confidential, favorable settlement was obtained for the defendant.

The Firm has handled numerous trademark and copyright claims brought by contractors against competitors seeking monetary damages and injunctive relief. 

Registration 

The Intellectual Property Practice Group’s attorneys secure copyright registrations protecting writings, original works of art, music and other works of authorship.  We also provide advice to our clients concerning the selection of trademarks and service marks, as well as prosecute trademark registrations. 

Trade Secrets 

Our protection of trade secrets includes defending cases of misappropriation of trade secrets and proprietary information, violation of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, breach of confidentiality agreements, as well as drafting employee agreements and policies and procedures that protect confidential information. 

Our attorneys are active participants in intellectual property associations, including: 

  • ABA Section of Intellectual Property Association
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Computer Law Association
  • Cyber Law Association
  • Michigan State Bar Intellectual Property Law Section
  • Oakland County Bar Association Intellectual Property Law

 


Group Chair
  Truex, Bruce A.
Senior Partner

Group Vice Chair
  Randazzo, Anthony A.
Executive Partner

Group Members
Consolo, Matthew J.
Partner

Recent Publications
Anthony Randazzo Name 2013 Up & Coming Lawyer by Michigan Lawyers Weekly
Press Release 11/12/2013

Secrest Wardle's 2011 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
Press Release 09/26/2011

Protect Yourself - How Important Are Trade Secrets To You? by Bruce A. Truex
Insights 05/01/2008

Michigan Does Not Recognize A Common Law Trademark Dilution Claim
Fair Use 11/08/2006

At the crossroads of IP litigation and coverage: The scope of the advertising clause under Michigan law
Fair Use 07/30/2004

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