IRVINE, Calif., March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- After a six-day federal trial, Rhema Law Group announces that a jury unanimously ruled, in an 8-0 decision, in favor of its' client Quoc Viet Foods, Inc. ("Quoc Viet") for Trademark Infringement against Defendant VV FOODS, LLC ("VV Foods"), which resolved a nearly four-year old feud between the companies revolving around Vietnamese marks containing the word "CỐT." Currently, Quoc Viet is seeking over $5 million dollars in damages, not including its claim for enhanced damages for willful infringement, which would include claims for up to 3 times the award and/or attorneys' fees. The damages portion of the case will be handled in a separate upcoming trial.
Quoc Viet is the leading manufacturer and pioneer of Vietnamese ethnic soup bases and sells its "CỐT" brand of soup base, coffee, tea and smoothie products across the nation in a variety of stores and institutions. Quoc Viet owns numerous registered trademarks containing the Vietnamese term "CỐT," including its popular "CỐT PHỞ BÒ" and "CỐT PHỞ GÀ" products. The Defendant, VV Foods, is a competing ethnic soup base manufacturer using Quoc Viet's trademarks on almost all of their own products.
"This was a 'bet-your-company' type of case, akin to a game of high-stakes poker. Both sides were all-in and there's only going to be one winner standing," stated Quoc Viet's trial counsel, John D. Tran. "Defendant's attack on the "CỐT" trademarks were essentially an attack on our client's business and goodwill." With only about 2% of filed Federal cases ever reaching a jury verdict, a judgment upholding trademarks with Vietnamese terms is very rare and possibly one of the few cases in the country." "This was a significant victory not just for our company, but for all business owners who invest great resources and time in building a successful business and brand." states Quoc Viet's President & CEO Tuan Nguyen. "We are so happy with the results and feel justice was served."
The case began in December 2012, when Quoc Viet filed a complaint in the Federal District Court of Santa Ana, alleging federal trademark infringement against VV Foods for using its trademarks without permission. At trial, Quoc Viet argued that VV Food's continued unauthorized use of the same trademarks on their products has caused confusion as to the source of these soup base products with consumers. In defense, VV Foods claimed that Quoc Viet's "CỐT" trademarks were invalid and not protectable and its' usage was fair use. At trial, the firm's trial team which consisted of Partners John D. Tran, Rosalind Ong and Of-Counsel William L. Buus, presented a persuasive case that the "CỐT" marks were inherently distinctive based on the way Quoc Viet uses the "CỐT" term in combination with other Vietnamese words with all of its current products.
After two full days of deliberation, the jury ruled that Quoc Viet's "CỐT" trademarks were valid and protectable, that VV Foods infringed the "CỐT" trademarks, and that VV Foods' use was not deemed fair use. Case: Quoc Viet Foods, Inc. vs. VV Foods, LLC et. al., SACV 8:12-CV-02165-CJC.
Rhema Law Group is an intellectual property law firm handling matters involving patents, trademarks, copyrights and related business matters. For more information: www.rhemalaw.com.
Media Contact: Rosalind T. Ong, firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE Rhema Law Group