Civil Procedure Keyed to Field
Berlitz Schools of Languages of America v. Everest House
Plaintiff brought an action against Defendant in New York state court for unfair competition and trademark infringement, claiming that the notice printed on Defendant’s language materials disclaiming affiliation with Plaintiff was inadequate to avoid public confusion. The court found for Defendant, finding the disclaimer to be sufficient. At some point later, Defendant shrunk the size of the printed disclaimer, but left the content the same. Plaintiff then sued in federal court, claiming unfair competition and trademark infringement under the Lanham Act. The federal district court granted Defendant’s motion for summary judgment, ruling that the new suit was barred by collateral estoppel. Plaintiff appealed, arguing that the change in the size of the disclaimer made it a different factual scenario than the previous case and that collateral estoppel, therefore, did not apply.
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