Case Study: Nightingale V. Anodyne

Law 360 published an AGG Client Alert written by Anuj Desai titled “Case Study: Nightingale V. Anodyne” (subscription may be required to view). In the prosecution or defense of a Lanham Act suit, when is the case rendered “exceptional” so as to allow for an award of attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party? A recent opinion from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals addressed the increasing trend of businesses in bringing or defending trademark infringement and false advertising lawsuits against competitors solely to obtain a competitive advantage. The court held that where a party is guilty of such “abuse of process,” an award of attorneys’ fees would be warranted. Mr. Desai warns business owners faced with Lanham Act claims to take a step back and carefully examine the merits and reasonableness of each side’s position to determine whether the case is merely an abuse of process. The Client Alert elaborates on the court’s reasoning and how it could affect you and your company.