March 14, 2014

Published Ninth Circuit Victory in Antitrust and Lanham Act Case (Fisher Tool Co., Inc. v. Gillet Outillage, 530 F.3d 1063 (9th Cir. 2008))

Payne & Fears LLP won summary judgment for its client, a New Jersey intellectual property law firm, in an action brought by a California tool distributor and its Taiwanese supplier.  The complaint alleged that the client violated federal antitrust law, the Lanham Act, and state law when it brought a prior suit against the distributor and suppliant for patent infringement, and sought millions in damages.  In 2005, Payne & Fears brought a successful motion for partial summary judgment on litigation privilege grounds, which eliminated six of nine claims.  After discovery, Payne & Fears LLP persuaded the federal court that the underlying patent case was supported by probable cause and protected the Noerr-Pennington doctrine, resulting in the dismissal of the three remaining claims against the client.  The result was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Daniel L. Rasmussen and Daniel F. Lula handled the defense of the case and the appeal.