Conkle, Kremer & Engel has represented numerous owners of valuable patents, trade names, service marks and trademarks to protect these substantial business assets against infringement and unfair competition. One recent matter demonstrates some of the techniques that can be used to protect trademarks from infringing uses.

In December 1996 a chain of restaurants with locations in Beverly Hills and Sherman Oaks, California failed to stop its use of the trademark of our client, Balducci, a well known purveyor of Italian food based in New York . On behalf of Balducci, Conkle, Kremer & Engel applied to the United States District Court in Los Angeles for an order holding the restaurant chain in contempt for violating an injunction, entry of a monetary judgment and other relief. The defendants persisted in their infringement and sought additional time, but the Court entered judgment against the operators of the restaurant chain for $60,000, and ordered that signs and infringing usages be removed.

When the defendants failed to comply, Conkle, Kremer & Engel obtained additional court orders instructing the U. S. Marshal to remove the signs, and imposing a fine of $5,000 for each day that infringement continued. In addition, Conkle, Kremer & Engel had the U.S. Marshal install a “keeper” to take charge of the restaurant business, collect and hold all revenue from the restaurant to pay the fine and the cost of abatement.

In an attempt to evade the keeper, the defendants had one of their business entities file bankruptcy. Upon another application by Conkle, Kremer & Engel, the Court amplified its earlier order and directed the keeper to remain in place and continue to collect the restaurant proceeds despite the bankruptcy. Then, the defendants tried to close the restaurant, but the Court’s order required that the restaurant remain open. The restaurant reopened and the Marshal’s keeper continued to collect all the revenue.

Finally convinced that their trickery would continue to be met with more fines, garnishments and adverse orders, after 19 days the defendants eliminated all infringing use of the tradename “Balducci” and the daily fines stopped at $95,000. Nonetheless, the keeper remained in place to continue collection of the restaurant revenue to satisfy the court orders for payment of amounts due.

December 26, 1996 Judgment for $60,000 (Page 1 & Page 2)

January 10, 1997 Order for installation of Keeper (Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, & Page 4)

January 17, 1997 Amendment to Order concerning Bankruptcy issues (Page 1 & Page 2)

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