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Vedder Thinking | News Vedder Price IP Litigation Group Wins Big for Clients in Q1 2017, including a $6.8 Million Damages Award

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Vedder Price’s Intellectual Property litigation group began 2017 with a series of significant victories for its clients in venues located across the United States, including the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in Washington, DC and federal district courts in Illinois, Washington, Delaware, and California. These cases cover all facets of intellectual property law (including Copyright Law, Trademark Law, Patent Law, and Unfair Competition Law) and highlight the breadth of Vedder Price’s IP litigation practice.

On March 22, 2017, after a five day jury trial presided over by Judge Freeman in the Northern District of California, the unanimous jury sided with the team at Vedder Price and Fitness Anywhere (which does business as TRX) on claims of willful patent and trademark infringement. The defendant had, with full knowledge of TRX’s patent, created and sold an infringing product The jury awarded TRX over $6.8 million in damages based largely on TRX’s lost profits. This award represents more than the totality of the defendant’s gross revenue from the infringing products.

Fitness Anywhere, LLC v. Woss Enterprises LLC, Case No. 5:14-cv-01725
(Vedder Price attorneys: Alain Villeneuve, Michael Waters, and John Burke).

On February 1, 2017, Administrative Trademark Judge Masiello found in favor of the Theatrical Stage Employees Union Local No. 2 of the International Alliance of Stage Employees and granted Vedder Price's request for the cancellation of defendant David Eave’s U.S. Trademark Registration No. 3,761,918. The defendant had registered the mark CHICAGO STAGEHANDS on the Supplemental Register. This mark differed from the Stagehands mark CHICAGO STAGEHAND by only a single letter. As a result of Judge Masiello’s ruling, Vedder Price's client now has secured the full rights to its mark.

In re Eaves, Cancellation No. 92/055,242
(Vedder Price attorneys: Robert Rigg, Angelo Bufalino).

On February 3, 2017, Judge Kocoras in the Northern District of Illinois sided with Vedder Price and refused to grant a preliminary injunction in favor of a large hotel group against Vedder Price’s client. In refusing to grant an injunction, Judge Kocoras found that the Plaintiff had not met its low burden of showing it had a "better than negligible" chance of demonstrating that its purported mark HOTEL CHICAGO had acquired distinctiveness in the minds of the public. This ruling ensures that Vedder Price’s client, Rosemoor Suites LLC, can continue operating under its mark during the course of the litigation. LHO has now moved to dismiss the case.

LHO Chicago River LLC v. Rosemoor Suites LLC et al., Case No. 1:16-cv-06863
(Vedder Price attorneys: Alain Villeneuve, Robert Beiser).

Vedder Price—acting as prosecution counsel for plaintiff VHT, Inc.—secured new database copyright registrations from the U.S. Copyright Office for VHT to protect VHT’s database of photograph. On February 10, 2017, Judge Robart of the District Court of Seattle found in favor of VHT and awarded a judgment of over $8.3 million against defendant Zillow Group Inc. based on Zillow’s use of VHT’s copyright-protected images contained in VHT’s database. The award exceeded $1 million in statutory damages per certificate of registration.

VHT, Inc. v. Zillow Group Inc. et al., Case No. 2:15-cv-01096
(Vedder Price attorneys: Alain Villeneuve and John Burke).

On March 29, 2017, Vedder Price won a total victory on summary judgment for its client, defendant Clean Harbors Industrial Services, Inc. The plaintiff Quest Integrity, LLC brought an action against Clean Harbors for patent infringement. On the eve of trial, Judge Sue Robinson of the District of Delaware sided with Vedder Price and ruled that Quest’s patent was invalid.

Quest Integrity USA LLC v. Clean Harbors Industrial Services Inc., Case 1:14-cv-01482
(Vedder Price attorneys: Robert Rigg, Michael Turgeon, and John Burke).

If you need assistance in enforcing of your intellectual property rights or defending against a claim of intellectual property infringement, do not hesitate to contact any member of the Vedder Price IP litigation group or your Vedder Price attorney.


Angelo J. Bufalino


John K. Burke


Robert S. Rigg


Michael J. Turgeon