8 November 2017Trademarks

Trademark lawsuit against Fish & Richardson voluntarily dropped

A trademark dispute between law firms Fish IP Law and Fish & Richardson over the word ‘Fish’ has been dismissed by the plaintiff.

In September, California-based law firm Fish IP Law filed a complaint for declaratory judgement of non-infringement, after claiming it had received cease-and-desist letters that led to a “real and reasonable apprehension that it would be subject to a claim for liability for trademark infringement”.

The complaint was filed at the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division.

According to the complaint, Robert Fish has continuously used the name Fish as part of the name of various law firms in which he was sole owner or partner since 1995.

“Despite the inclusion of the word ‘Fish’ in its service mark, F&R owns no right to the word ‘Fish’ alone or when placed alongside a description of the services provided by Fish IP Law, or any other entity for that matter,” said the suit.

A spokesperson for Fish & Richardson told WIPR at the time that the claims were “not supported by the facts and have no legal merit”.

“It is an overreaction to a very simple request,” they added.

However, the suit was voluntarily dismissed on Monday, November 6.

The one-paragraph document read: “Notice is hereby given that pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 41(a), plaintiff Fish IP Law voluntarily dismisses without prejudice the above-entitled action against Fish & Richardson.”

A spokesperson for Fish & Richardson confirmed to WIPR that Fish IP Law is keeping its name in light of changes made to its logo and branding.

It has been a busy few weeks for Fish & Richardson, which also announced the appointments of Brian Gaff  and Jayme Partridge as principals of the firm’s litigation practice in its Boston and Houston offices respectively.

The firm also re-hired Katherine Prescott to the firm’s Silicon Valley office as an of counsel after a stint with Apple.

When approached by WIPR for comment, a spokesperson for Fish & Richardson said: "We are pleased that our firms were able to find an amicable resolution to this matter."

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