Recent Wine Industry Litigation: Blackbird vineyards, LLC v. Turkovich Family Wines, LLC, Wine Bridge Imports, LLC (trade dress infringement claim over use of bird flock imagery collectively the “Blackbird Marks”). Beckstoffer Vineyards v. Natural Selection 357 LLC (trademark infringement claim over use of the mark Crane in connection with vineyards and winery services); Rombauer Vineyards, Inc. v. Jam Cellars, Inc, et al. (trademark infringement and false advertising claim for unauthorized use of the Rombauer mark); Vintage Wine Estates v. Dan Cohn Wine Cellars (trademark infringement claim over use of the surname Cohn).
Confidential Parties: Prosecuted an arbitration proceeding on behalf of a wine producer for breach of contract regarding the sale of an iconic wine brand resulting in a confidential multi-million dollar settlement.
Arlie Hochschild et. al. v. C.A.R.L, Ltd.: Filed a class action copyright infringement lawsuit on behalf of freelance authors against a Knight-Ridder owned company for selling articles without obtaining copyright licenses. This case was notable in that we believe it was the first copyright infringement case to be certified by a Federal Court as a class action. In a heavily-disputed case that the defendants appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, we won two important rulings that led to a multi-million dollar settlement and significant payouts to hundreds of authors.
Real Restaurants, et al v. Dragonfly, LLC et. al. : Filed a trade dress infringement lawsuit on behalf of the then popular San Francisco Betelnut restaurant against the Dragonfly restaurant in Las Vegas for copying unique "trade dress" elements. The Federal Court granted our motion for a preliminary injunction and ordered Dragonfly to alter or remove counters, lighting, uniforms, menu items and barred it from further copying Betelnut’s trade dress. This case was notable in that at the time the only successful prior restaurant trade dress cases involved national restaurant chains or similarly located restaurants, while our case involved single restaurants in different states. Faced with an injunction, the defendants modified their restaurant and paid a confidential monetary settlement.
NOTABLE WINE INDUSTRY TRANSACTIONS:
Represented Heitz Cellars in its acquisition of Wildwood Vineyard in Rutherford.
Represented Bean Family Vineyards in its acquisition of Brand Napa Valley winery and vineyards.
Represented Frank and Cathy Dotzler in their sale of Outpost winery and vineyards.
Represented The Lawrence Group in its acquisition of the iconic Heitz Cellars brand and winery.
Represented Shooting Gallery, Inc, and David Phinney in the sale of their worldwide Locations brands to E&J Gallo.
Represented Orin Swift Cellars and Dave Phinney in their sale of wine brands to E. & J. Gallo, a complex transaction that involved the transfer of over 20 wine brands, including Abstract, Mercury Head, Machete, Mannequin and Papillon.
Represented Mason Cellars in its sale of wine brands to Trinchero Family, which included its Wine Spectator Top 100 Pomelo label.
NOTABLE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND CONTENT ACQUISITIONS FOR CLIENTS:
The Police Reunion Tour: Negotiated exclusive tour sponsorship rights for this highly-anticipated concert tour. The multi-platinum band had not reunited for a public show for nearly 20 years and the tour was a sell-out in every major city. The sponsorship deal included a multi-million dollar marketing campaign, on-site VIP areas, streaming and exclusive DVD rights.
Farm Aid: Negotiated multi-year exclusive tour sponsorship rights for the annual Farm Aid music festival held by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young that included rights to exclusive music content and other highly valuable rights.
Time Square Venue Naming Rights: Negotiated exclusive naming rights to a major live show venue on Broadway in Times Square that included rights to promote our client's brand on marquis signage, tickets, advertising, hospitality and VIP rights, use of venue for private corporate events, and numerous other branding rights.
Exclusive Content and Products Rights: Negotiated rights to highly valuable exclusive music and film content for a Fortune 100 client from The Rolling Stones, Elton John, The Police, U2, Mariah Carey, Dave Matthews, The Who, Justin Timberlake, Tom Petty, Guns ‘N Roses, Usher, John Mellencamp, The Beatles, Prince, Pete Townsend, Taylor Swift and other high level talent. Sales of exclusive content negotiated on behalf of client exceed $100 million. These transactions typically involved the acquisition of rights to exclusive music, footage, publicity rights, personal appearances used to promote and build client brands and products.
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