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Jim Sipchen and Brendan Nelligan Obtain Dismissal of Trademark Suit


Pretzel & Stouffer partners, Jim Sipchen and Brendan Nelligan recently won a dismissal of a trademark infringement lawsuit brought in federal court in the Eastern District of Michigan against their client, a local California theater. The theater was sued for trademark infringement by a popular 80’s R&B band after it produced a concert performed by one of the band’s former members. The court held it lacked personal jurisdiction over the theater. In doing so, it rejected arguments that the theater had minimum contacts with the State of Michigan because: (1) it sold tickets and promoted the concert on the internet, and (2) some of the band’s remaining members live in Michigan. The court also held that trademark infringement could not have occurred because the band and its former member co-owned the trademark.

October 2019