Travel Incentives Business - Summary Judgment Quashes RICO, Counterfeiting Claims


Our client, a small business owner, faced $24 million RICO and counterfeiting claims brought by one of the world’s largest airlines because of the inadvertent use of two of the airline’s trademarks for several months.


With targeted questioning of the airline’s corporate representatives, AGG steadily narrowed the scope of the issues for the Northern District of Georgia on summary judgment. Then, AGG thoroughly briefed the distinctions between garden-variety trademark infringement claims and claims for fraud and counterfeiting. AGG also leveraged the judge’s standing order to obtain oral argument on AGG’s motion for summary judgment.


After briefing and oral argument, the Northern District of Georgia granted AGG’s motion for summary judgment on the airline’s $24 million RICO and counterfeiting claims. AGG convinced the court that this was, at most, a case of garden-variety trademark infringement, not a RICO conspiracy based on fraud. The court also agreed with AGG that the client was not in the business of selling air-transportation services and, therefore, could not be liable for counterfeiting.