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Topic: Trademark and Trade Dress Infringement Law

Trade Dress Infringement –The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed a substantial jury award in a trade dress infringement case.

Posted on Sep 24 2013 10:27PM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

Analysis:  I previously handled a significant trade dress case that has since resolved for my client but I still pay special attention to trade dress and trademark infringement cases.  They are often fascinating cases but they can also be very complex and expert intensive.  We do not have a lot of these types of cases in Tennessee but a recent Sixth Circuit decision I read about on the Sixth Circuit Appellate Blog caught my interest. 


The case is Groeneveld Transport Efficiency, Inc. v. Lubecore International, Inc., 2013 WL 4838792 (6th Cir. 2013).  It is a very lengthy opinion but is a very important case to review if you have a trade dress case in the Sixth Circuit (it will be a published opinion).  This opinion discussed whether trade dress protection applied to certain industrial grease pumps used in automated lubrication systems for commercial trucks.  The basic question, as framed by the Sixth Circuit, was whether a company “can use trade-dress law to protect its functional product design from competition with a copycat design made by another company where there is no reasonable likelihood that consumers would confuse the two companies’ products as emanating from a single source.” Groeneveld at 1.  This is a very important issue in trade dress law. 


Ultimately the Sixth Circuit reversed the $1,225,000.00 jury verdict award and found “G

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Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. He practices in all areas of defense litigation inside and outside of Tennessee.

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