Week Ahead in Intellectual Property: Sept. 7, 2021

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(Reuters) – Here are some upcoming events of interest to the intellectual property law community. Unless otherwise noted, all times are local, and court appearances are in person.

Tuesday, Sept. 7

9:30 a.m. – A jury trial will begin in Delaware federal court on BASF’s antitrust counterclaims in a patent dispute with North Charleston, South Carolina-based Ingevity Corp. In response to Ingevity’s infringement claims, BASF says Ingevity wrongly tied the licensing of its patent related to “carbon adsorbents,” which are used to capture harmful emissions from automobiles, to buying its products. Ingevity denies the allegations. U.S. District Judge Richard Andrews ruled in November that Ingevity’s patent was invalid.

The case is Ingevity Corp v. BASF Corp, U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, No. 1:18-cv-01391.

For Ingevity: Jeffrey Thomas of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Karen Keller of Shaw Keller, Rustin Mangum of Mangum Ririe.

For BASF: Thomas Friel of King & Spalding, Rodger Smith of Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell.

Thursday, Sept. 9

9 a.m. – U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan will preside over a remote bench trial on Easy Spirit’s claims that Skechers’ Commute Time shoes infringe its Traveltime trademark. Easy Spirit called Skechers’ shoes a “blatant copy” of its Traveltime slip-ons. Late District Judge William Pauley rejected Easy Spirit’s trade-dress infringement claims based on the shoe’s design in January, but allowed its claims that Skechers infringed the trademark in its “Traveltime” name to continue to trial.

The case is Easy Spirit LLC v. Skechers USA Inc., U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 1:19-cv-03299.

For Easy Spirit: Darren Saunders of Peroff Saunders, Catherine Deist of Mukasey Frenchman.

For Skechers: Robert Lee and Andrew Ligotti of Alston & Bird, Daniel Petrocelli and Jeffrey Barker of O’Melveny & Myers.

11:45 a.m. – U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield in Manhattan will hear arguments by phone on canned cold-brew coffee maker Rise Brewing’s request for a preliminary injunction against PepsiCo, which Rise has accused of infringing its trademarks with its “Mtn Dew Rise” morning energy drink. Rise Brewing said in its June complaint that Pepsi is likely to cause consumer confusion by flooding the market with its similarly named drink, which is meant to replace ready-to-drink coffee drinks like Rise. This hearing was rescheduled from Aug. 13.

The case is Rise Brewing v. PepsiCo Inc., U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 1:21-cv-06324.

For Rise Brewing: Jason Rosenberg and Paul Tanck of Alston & Bird.

For Pepsi: Timothy Durst of Baker Botts.

Friday, Sept. 10

10 a.m. – U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco will hold a hearing on General Motors and its self-driving car subsidiary Cruise LLC’s request to preliminarily block Ford’s use of the name “BlueCruise” for its hands-free driving technology. GM and Cruise accused Ford in July of infringing Cruise’s trademark in its name as well as GM’s “Super Cruise” mark for its Cadillac automated driving technology. Ford responded last month that GM and Cruise’s trademarks were unenforceable as generic or descriptive. Ford first announced its use of the BlueCruise name in April.

The case is Cruise LLC v. Ford Motor Co, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 3:21-cv-05685.

For Cruise: Margaret Caruso and Diane Doolittle of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

For GM: Dale Cendali and Diana Torres of Kirkland & Ellis.

For Ford: William Brewster and Gregory Gilchrist of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton.

Know of an event that could be included in an upcoming Week Ahead in Intellectual Property? Contact Blake Brittain at blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com

Blake Brittain

Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com

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