New York, NY – July 19, 2012 – Kenyon & Kenyon LLP, acting on behalf of clients, HSN LP (“HSN”), Daystar Productions, and musician and on-air personality Stephen Paul (aka “Esteban”), successfully rebuffed an attempt to overturn a jury verdict in their favor in a $25 million trademark suit brought by Fishman Transducers in the District of Massachusetts. The Court of Appeals affirmed the jury verdict that the defendants did not willfully infringe on Fishman Transducers, Inc.’s trademark.
The suit alleged that the defendants’ use of the FISHMAN mark in connection with the sale of ESTEBAN guitar packages in HSN’s on-air broadcasts and website constituted willful violation of various state and federal laws. Kenyon, through a series of summary judgment motions and evidentiary motions, obtained several favorable pre-trial rulings which confined the trial issues to the core Lanham Act issues alleged in the complaint, resulting in over $10 million in reductions from Fishman’s damages claim. In addition, during the course of trial, Kenyon successfully moved to exclude certain testimony from the plaintiff's damages expert. Following an eight day trial, the jury found that the defendants did not willfully use the plaintiff’s FISHMAN mark, resulting in a judgment which denied damages, disgorgement of profits, or even an injunction, as the defendants’ use was innocent. Fishman appealed the verdict to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which upheld the jury verdict and the trial court’s judgment, holding that under any standard of proof the evidence clearly established that no other verdict would have been reasonable.
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