Justia U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Trademark
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A dispute arose among the parties in this case over internet advertising through "AdWords," a Google program whereby companies pay the search engine to feature its ads whenever a user uses certain keywords. At issue was whether the Lanham Act was violated by one of the parties' use of keywords that resembled a competitior-party's service mark. Upon review of the keywords and service marks in question here, the Tenth Circuit found no violation of the Act. View "1-800 Contacts v. Lens.com, et al" on Justia Law

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Eureka Water Company contended that a 1975 agreement granted it the exclusive license in 60 Oklahoma counties to sell spring water and other products using the "Ozarka" trademark. It sued Nestle Waters North America, Inc., the current owner of the Ozarka trademark, to obtain a declaratory judgment of that right and to obtain monetary relief under several theories, including breach of contract, tortious interference with business relations, unjust enrichment, and promissory estoppel. A jury found for Eureka on its contract and tortious interference claims, and the district court entered a judgment declaring that the 1975 agreement granted Eureka the exclusive right that it claimed in the Ozarka mark. In a post-verdict ruling, the district court denied as duplicative Eureka's equitable claims based on unjust enrichment and promissory estoppel. Nestle appealed. The Tenth Circuit agreed with most of Nestle's principal arguments. First, the Court reversed the district court's denial of Nestle's motion for JMOL on the contract claim because the 1975 agreement unambiguously did not cover spring water and under Oklahoma contract law. The Court reversed the denial of JMOL on the tortious-interference claim because Eureka failed to show that Nestle's decision to charge Eureka what it charged other vendors for bottled water was not privileged or justified. Third, the Court affirmed the denial of Eureka's unjust enrichment claim because the claim is based on the false premise that Eureka's license to use the Ozarka trademark covers spring water. The Court reversed, however, the denial of Eureka's promissory-estoppel claim, and remanded that claim for further consideration by the district court. View "Eureka Water Company v. Nestle Waters North America" on Justia Law