Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Big lot of confusion

In Adventis, Inc. v. Consolidated Property Holdings, Inc., a panel of the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge Duncan, joined by Judge Motz, reversed Judge Turk's ruling in a trademark case, concluding that he should acted on the party's admission on the likelihood that the likelihood of confusion between the various marks involving the words "Big Lot" and "Big Lots".

Both sides made admissions during discovery on the confusion, both sides moved for summary judgment, and after Judge Turk denied the motions, both sides sought an obtained permission for interlocutory appeals. The majority ruled that since there were admissions on the issue of likelihood of confusion, Judge Turk erred by denying summary judgment based on the conclusion that there was no likelihood of confusion between the marks. THe majority remanded the case for determination of the issue of priority of use.

Judge Luttig wrote separately: "I am sufficiently unclear as to the reasons for the majority’s holding, and therefore the implications of the court’s decision, that I simply concur in the judgment reached by the court."

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