Intellectual Property Infringement
On September 26, 2013, after a three day trial, a jury in the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Tennessee rendered a verdict that defendant infringed plaintiff’s service mark in violation of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a), and the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, Tenn. Code Ann. § 47-18-109(a). Shea Sisk Wellford and Adam J. Eckstein of Martin, Tate, Morrow & Marston, P.C. represented the plaintiff, an individual who owned and operated a real estate brokerage firm for more than 25 years. After plaintiff ceased her business operations and associated with another broker, plaintiff engaged Martin Tate to stop a real estate agent who had previously been associated with plaintiff’s brokerage firm from using plaintiff’s intellectual property, which consisted of, among other things, the service mark that she used on her real estate signs. Martin Tate obtained a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the defendant enjoining him from using a design on his real estate signs that was confusingly similar to plaintiff’s service mark. Martin Tate subsequently obtained an order of contempt against the defendant for violating the preliminary injunction. The jury awarded plaintiff damages under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act. The Court doubled the award under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and also awarded plaintiff damages under the Lanham Act, attorneys’ fees, and costs, for a total verdict in the amount of $371,752.01. Finally, the Court permanently enjoined the defendant from using the plaintiff’s intellectual property or anything likely to cause confusion with the plaintiff’s intellectual property. Taylor v. Thomas, No. 2:12-2309-JPM-cgc (W.D. Tenn. April 28, 2014). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the judgment. Taylor v. Thomas, 624 Fed.Appx. 322 (6th Cir. 2015).