IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On February 22, 2019, Rhema Law Group Partners John D. Tran, Rosalind Ong and Of-Counsel Eric Schiffer, succeeded in having the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rule in favor of Quoc Viet Foods, Inc., ordering a reversal of the district court's directed verdict and reinstating the original jury verdict that declared Quoc Viet's "CỐT" trademarks were valid and that defendant VV Foods, LLC had indeed infringed said marks.
"We are very pleased with the Ninth Circuit's ruling that gave proper deference to the original jury verdict," said Tran. "The jury got it right and we are grateful for the appeals court recognizing and validating that."
Quoc Viet lauds itself as a leading manufacturer of proprietary soup bases that make it convenient to enjoy Vietnamese soups that traditionally require a lengthy and complicated cooking process. Since 2002, Quoc Viet has marketed its' ethnic soup bases under the "CỐT" brand and continues to distribute its unique products worldwide.
In 2012, Quoc Viet filed its complaint against VV Foods, which included claims that VV Foods intentionally infringed Quoc Viet's' marks thereby causing confusion among consumers. After a week long trial in March 2016, a jury ruled in favor of Quoc Viet.
However, the district court proceeded to vacate the jury's verdict and instead, granted a directed verdict finding that the marks were not valid and protectable and thereby ordering the cancellation of all the Quoc Viet marks. Quoc Viet appealed.
On appeal, the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's ruling and reinstated the jury's verdict in favor of Quoc Viet. The Ninth Circuit stated that "the jury, in fact, had substantial evidence from which it could find that the marks were suggestive because they required some 'exercise of imagination' due to the play on words of "CỐT's" multiple meanings … and a jury could have also reasonably found that if the marks were descriptive, they acquired secondary meaning before VV Foods began to use them. Quoc Viet advertised extensively and exclusively used the marks, and VV Foods intentionally copied Quoc Viet's products and labels with the intent to deceive."
Rhema Law Group is a boutique law firm focusing on intellectual property and business law. Visit www.rhemalaw.com
QUOC VIET FOODS, INC. vs. VV FOODS, LLC et. al., No. 17-55331 Opinion (9th Cir. February 22, 2019).
SOURCE Rhema Law Group