Gotta Keep Em Separated: District Court Rejects Theory of Coverage that Trademark Infringement Suit Constitutes Trade Dress or Slogan Infringement under Coverage B

In H5G, LLC v. Selective Insurance Company, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23937 (S.D. Oh. Feb. 21, 2017), an Ohio federal district court granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment with respect to its obligations to defend or indemnify its insured against an underlying trademark infringement suit.

In the underlying suit, High 5 Sportswear (High Five) alleged H5G infringed its trademarks and committed cybersquatting. H5G’s CGL policy issued by Selective Insurance Company afforded coverage for the infringement of another’s copyright, trade dress, or slogan, but …

Continue Reading

Up in Smoke: An Insurer Could Not Mount a Successful Coverage Defense Due to Vague Allegations in an E-Cigarette Lawsuit

An Illinois federal district court determined in Diamond State Insurance Company v. Duke that an insurer had a duty to defend its insured in a case involving alleged disparagement. This decision reminds insurers that courts have the ability to the allegations of the underlying complaint even more broadly than ever expected.

The underlying lawsuit was brought by, in pertinent part, DR Distributors, LLC against 21 Century Smoking, Inc. alleging, causes of action for counterfeiting and trademark infringement under the Lanham Act, unfair competition and unfair …

Continue Reading

Google ‘Adwords’ Advertisements Trademark Infringement, Not Slogan Infringement

In Auto Mobility Sales, Inc. v. Praetorian Insurance Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84777 (S.D. Fla. June 30, 2015), the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida held that an insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify its insured against allegations of trademark infringement resulting from the insured’s use of certain language in a Google ‘Adwords’ Advertisement.

Auto Mobility Sales, Inc. (AMS) sells and rents handicap-enabled vehicles. AMS was insured by a general liability insurance policy issued by Praetorian Insurance Company. …

Continue Reading

Northern District of Illinois Draws Line Between Trademark Infringement and Trade Dress Infringement

In AU Electronics, Inc. v. Harleysville Group, Inc., No. 13 C 5947, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2887 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 10, 2015) the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted summary judgment in favor of Harleysville Group, Inc. and Harleysville Lake States Insurance Co. (collectively Harleysville), finding, in pertinent part, that the underlying complaint did not allege “personal or advertising injury.”

AU Electronics, Inc. was sued by Sprint and T-Mobile for allegedly buying cellphones in bulk, unlocking the phones, and reselling …

Continue Reading