Case Summaries - Intellectual Property

Archive for the ‘Intellectual Property’ Category
Schlumberger Limited and Schlumberger Technology Corporation v. Charlotte Rutherford

In only five months, AZA helped client Charlotte Rutherford get four-fifths of her case dismissed and those who sued her slapped with record high fees and sanctions totaling $600,000. This case illustrates AZA’s ability to shred a case in pretrial and beat bigger firms. Ms. Rutherford, Schlumberger’s former Deputy General Counsel for IP, faced highly publicized “revenge” litigation from Schlumberger. AZA achieved extraordinary results – leaving the case with only one cause of action and little hope for damages. AZA also left Schlumberger tagged with $350,000 in attorney’s fees and $250,000 in sanctions for overreaching in its allegations. Both fees and sanctions are record highs under the law.

Rutherford had left Schlumberger to join Acacia Research Group to lead its move into the energy sector. After her new employer sued Schlumberger for patent infringement, Schlumberger launched a scorched-earth attack against her. Before she hired AZA, Rutherford was confronted with a Schlumberger TRO based on affidavits that AZA later proved to be false. Once retained, AZA forced Schlumberger to voluntarily dissolve the TRO and abandon its attempt at a temporary injunction.

AZA lawyers: Joseph Y. Ahmad and Tim Shelby.

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Sentinel Integrity Solutions, Inc. v. Mistras Group, Inc. (Trademark)

AZA defended Mistras Group, Inc., a major nondestructive testing provider, against claims for trademark infringement and dilution brought by Sentinel Integrity Solutions Inc.  Sentinel brought a claim for $8 million in damages. AZA not only won on the trademark infringement claim with the federal judge, but got the jury to agree to invalidate the trademark.

After hiring AZA, Mistras filed counterclaims against Sentinel, the owner of a stylized logo and registered trademark, seeking to have the trademark invalidated and, further, seeking a declaratory judgment finding that the trademark is a widely used phrase that was generic or descriptive, and could not be trademarked.

After both parties’ evidence had been presented to a jury in federal court in Houston, the court granted judgment as a matter of law for Mistras on the trademark infringement claim, and the jury later found for Mistras on all the remaining claims, finding that the trademark was generic.

The court issued a final judgment awarding Mistras the relief it sought, including an order cancelling the trademark, as well as its costs, and denying all of the Sentinel’s claims.

AZA Lawyers: John Zavitsanos, Elizabeth Pannill Fletcher, Todd Mensing and Jane Langdell Robinson.

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