Prematurity Defense to Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings in Intellectual Property Cases

Posted on Blog January 4, 2016


Last month, U.S. District Judge Kathleen M. Williams denied a motion by defendants Craig Redman, Karl Maier, and Karl Maier Ltd. for judgment on the pleadings concerning claims brought against them by plaintiff Britto Central Inc. alleging trade dress infringement, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a); trade dress dilution, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c) and Fla. Stat. § 495.151; trade dress infringement and unfair competition under Florida common law; violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, Fla. Stat. § 501.201 et seq.; and copyright infringement, 17 U.S.C. § 501 et seq. The court denied the motion as premature due to the deficiency of the undeveloped court record, the lack of discovery at the early stage of proceedings, and the highly fact-intensive and circumstantial nature of the similarity, fame, and copying elements so often at issue in intellectual property cases. Prematurity may be an effective overall tool to combat such motions filed shortly after the pleadings have closed. Britto Central Inc. v. Redman et al., S.D. Fla. Case No. 15-cv-21320-KMW.


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