Articles Posted in U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals

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Klein-Becker USA and Klein-Becker IP Holdings sued Patrick Englert and Mr. Finest, Inc., for trademark infringement, copyright infringement, false advertising, and unfair competition under the Lanham Act; false advertising under the Utah Truth in Advertising Act; unfair competition under the Utah Unfair Practices Act; fraud; civil conspiracy; and intentional interference with existing and prospective business relations. The action arose from Englert's unauthorized selling of "StriVectin" skin care products: he posed as a General Nutrition Center (GNC) store to purchase the products at below wholesale rates. Englert then sold the products through eBay and other commercial web platforms, including his own, "mrfinest.com." Englert was sanctioned several times for failing to comply with court orders and discovery schedules. The third and final sanction resulted in the entry of default judgment for Klein-Becker on all remaining claims. Englert appealed the district court's entry of default judgment against him, determination of his personal liability and the amount of damages owed, grant of a permanent injunction, denial of a jury trial, and refusal to allow him to call a certain witness. Upon review, the Tenth Circuit found no fault in the district court's analysis or judgment and affirmed. View "Klein-Becker USA v. Englert" on Justia Law

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Tracy Broadcasting is a Nebraska corporation that operated an FM radio station in Wyoming. In 2008, Tracy Broadcasting executed a promissory note for a $1,596,100 loan from Valley Bank & Trust Company (Valley Bank). The note was secured by an agreement dated December 13, 2007, which granted Valley Bank a security interest in various assets, including Tracy Broadcasting's general intangibles and their proceeds. In 2009, Spectrum Scan, LLC obtained a judgment in Nebraska federal court against Tracy Broadcasting in the amount of $1,400,000. Seven months later, Tracy Broadcasting filed a petition under Chapter 11 in Colorado bankruptcy court. The two primary creditors of Tracy Broadcasting were Valley Bank and Spectrum Scan, which was unsecured. The most valuable asset listed was the broadcasting license. The schedules stated that the “proceeds” of the license were “secured to Valley Bank.” Spectrum Scan brought an adversary action to determine the extent of Valley Bank’s security interest. The bankruptcy court ruled that Valley Bank had no priority in the proceeds of the sale of Tracy Broadcasting’s license. The United States District Court for the District of Colorado affirmed. The issue before the Tenth Circuit centered on whether a creditor with a security interest in the general intangibles (and their proceeds) had priority over unsecured creditors in the proceeds of the sale of the license. The bankruptcy court and the district court held that it did not. Upon review, the Tenth Circuit disagreed: "Federal law permits a licensee to grant a security interest in the economic value of its license, and Nebraska law recognizes that a security interest in the proceeds of a license sale attaches when the licensee enters into the security agreement, regardless of whether a sale is contemplated at that time." View "Tracy Broadcasting Corp. v. Spectrum Scan, LLC" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff-Appellant Flying Phoenix Corporation appealed a district court’s dismissal of its claims against Defendants North Park Transportation Company and R&L Carriers Shared Services (the carriers), with prejudice, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Flying Phoenix purchased a machine designed to package fireworks for sale to end users from Defendant Creative Packaging Machinery, Inc. The machine arrived severely damaged. Creative Packaging was responsible for shipping the machine to Flying Phoenix. Creative Packaging used R&L Carriers Shared Services to ship from North Carolina to Wyoming. The bill of lading limited the period for filing claims with a carrier to nine months, and limited the time for filing civil suit to two years and one day following denial of a claim. At some point during the delivery, R&L Carriers transferred the machine to North Park Transportation Company to complete delivery to Flying Phoenix. Three days after the machine was delivered, Flying Phoenix filed a claim with North Park based on damage to the machine. Roughly two weeks later, North Park inspected the machine and confirmed that it was damaged. A little less than a month later, North Park and R&L Carriers notified Flying Phoenix that its claim was denied, citing evidence that the shipment was issued with insufficient packaging or protection. Flying Phoenix renewed its claim approximately six months later, in November 2007, and the carriers again denied the claim, asserting that the machine was "used" and inadequately packaged. On appeal, Flying Phoenix argued that the district court erred by holding that (1) its claims were based on the bill of lading, and (2) it was bound by the terms of the bill of lading even though it was not a party and did not consent. Upon review, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of Flying Phoenix's claims: "Flying Phoenix claim[ed] that, although it was listed as consignee on the bill of lading, it never saw the bill of lading until after the limitations period lapsed. It argue[d] that, since it did not know the terms of the carriage, it should not be bound. [The Court found] no precedent for Flying Phoenix’s position, and Flying Phoenix [did] not direct [the Court] to any. There is no suggestion in the record that Flying Phoenix ever sought a copy of the bill of lading but was denied access, and it is well-established that a party may not sit idly by, making no effort to obtain obviously necessary documents, and then claim ignorance. Lack of diligence precludes equitable intervention." View "Flying Phoenix Corp. v. Creative Packaging Machinery" on Justia Law