M2 Tech., Inc. v. M2 Software, Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Trademarks
  • Date Filed: 10-20-2014
  • Case #: 13-41060 and 14-40192
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • LexisNexis Citation: 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20279
  • Westlaw Citation: 2014 WL 5317864
  • Full Text Opinion

Opinion (Per Curium): M2 Software, Inc. has one shareholder, David Escamilla (“Escamilla”), who sued M2 Technology for
trademark infringement in 2011.

After failures by Escamilla to appear pro se, join M2 software as a party,
file a motion to intervene, make an appearance, and other procedural issues
the trial court entered a default judgment for M2 Technology, and awarded them attorneys’ fees and costs.

Escamilla appealed arguing, among other things, that the fee award was an abuse of discretion.

The Court stated that the Lanham Act allows a trial court to award
“Reasonable” fees to a prevailing party in “exceptional cases”. According
to Procter & Gamble, fee awards are reviewed for abuse of discretion.
Procter & Gamble Co. v. Amway Corp., 280 F.3d 519, 528 (5th Cir. 2002).

In this case, Escamilla attempted to litigate contrary to the magistrate’s instructions that he be represented by counsel. The Court found this to be a “plausible basis for determining that this case is exceptional.”

As such, the Court finds that there was no error in the discretion to award fees and costs and the trial court’s ruling is AFFIRMED.

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