A blog about patent, copyright and trademark law in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York

Court Declines to Divide Ownership of Collabortively Developed Trademark

In a May 29, 2015 ruling, Judge Valerie Caproni decided ownership of the “Fashion Digital” trademark for fashion-related conferences between the two parties that had collaboratively developed the mark, Greenpearl and Hussain. The Court rejected dividing ownership between the parties, noting that “division of ownership has come to be strongly disfavored because it is not beneficial to the public, even if it might be equitable as between the parties.” In awarding ownership of the mark to Hussain, Judge Caproni wrote:
In sum, because there is no dispositive contractual agreement, the Court finds that Hussain is the party who (1) most proximately exerted control over the nature and quality of the services that the consuming public identified with the mark; (2) invented the mark; and (3) was seen by the public as the driving force behind the mark. Fashion Digital was a joint endeavor between Hussain and GreenPearl; because the parties’ joint endeavor has disintegrated, and the Court cannot assign a portion of the mark to each party, the Court finds that the balance of equities weighs in Hussain’s favor.
The general information and thoughts posted to this blog are provided only as an informational service to the web community and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. Nothing on this blog is intended to create an attorney-client relationship and nothing posted constitutes legal advice. You should understand that the posts by the author, who is an attorney at U.S. law firm Allegaert, Berger & Vogel, may or may not reflect the views of that firm and that the author of this blog is only authorized to practice law in the jurisdictions in which he is properly licensed to do so. For additional information, click here.