Achieving first a rare FRCP 41(b) involuntary dismissal in the Northern District of California and subsequently affirmation on a Ninth Circuit appeal, Fenwick & West secured a complete victory for long-time client Intuit Inc. in a trademark suit brought by Fremont-Calif.-based Innospan Corp.
In its complaint seeking $25M in damages and an injunction requiring Intuit to stop use of its Mint.com trademark—a trademark that was associated with Intuit’s $170M acquisition of Mint Software—Innospan alleged that a Mint investor provided Innospan’s trademark to Mint, which Mint then copied. Leveraging Fenwick’s award-winning in-house eDiscovery capabilities, our team revealed that Innospan’s case was built on fabricated evidence, with the district court finding that Innospan had submitted false statements and engaged in witness tampering. After ordering forensic production of Innospan’s electronic documents, the court awarded Intuit more than $270K in sanctions and barred Innospan from using its tainted witnesses. When Innospan failed to pay the sanctions, violated the witness exclusion order and continued its discovery noncompliance and misconduct, the court dismissed the case based on wilful and egregious litigation misconduct. Innospan subsequently appealed the suit to the Ninth Circuit, which affirmed the district court’s dismissal and judgment in favor of Intuit entirely.