Judge Finds IP Firm Founder Infringed Mark

October 16, 2014

​Laurence Pulgram, Fenwick & West partner and chair of the commercial and copyright litigation groups, was featured in a Law360 article reporting on the firm's successful motion for summary judgment on behalf of client in its trademark infringement claim against Raj Abhyanker, founder of intellectual property law firm Legal Force RAPC.

Ruling in favor of the social network company, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen called Abhyanker’s argument that customers were unlikely to be confused by Abhyanker's using Nextdoor’s mark for a similar type of network “disingenuous.”

Pulgram successfully argued that when Judge Chen ordered Abhyanker to stop using the Nextdoor mark or “any colorable imitation” last May, that injunction in fact validated the trademark and removed any question of the mark's validity for summary judgment purposes.

“It's impossible to conceptualize an injunction ... without the mark being valid,” Pulgram said. He added that denying Nextdoor summary judgment on that issue “would be a ruling that the injunction was invalid."

Noting that Nextdoor was "just fighting through this smoke,” Pulgram told the court that Nextdoor is seeking a complete injunction and attorneys' fees. A trial on the remaining issues is set to begin December 8.

The full article is available through the Law360 website (subscription required).