Justia U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in International Trade
Wudi Industrial (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. v. Wai Wong
Plaintiff Wudi Industrial (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. Challenged two adverse rulings made by the district court in favor of defendant Wai L. Wong and his business entity, GT Omega Racing, Ltd. (collectively “GTOR”). Wudi and GTOR are Asian-centered business entities that compete in the marketing of video gaming chairs and other products. In March 2017, Wudi obtained from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) a registration for the stylized word mark “GTRACING.” For its part, GTOR claimed that it already owned an earlier use of a similar word mark — that is, “GT OMEGA RACING” — and challenged Wudi’s registration of the “GTRACING” word mark in cancellation proceedings before a USPTO component called the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (the “Board”). In June 2020, the Board ruled in favor of GTOR, concluding that Wudi’s use of the “GTRACING” word mark encroached on GTOR’s earlier use of its own “GT OMEGA RACING” word mark. The Fourth Circuit vacated the challenged rulings and remanded. The court agreed with Wudi’s primary contention that the district court’s challenged rulings constitute awards of injunctive relief in favor of GTOR and against Wudi. Secondly, the court also agreed that the challenged rulings failed to comport with the applicable Rules of Civil Procedure and controlling precedent. The court emphasized that the First Order possesses all of the necessary attributes and thus qualifies as an injunction order. That is, the First Order contains “clear, enforceable directives” and threatens Wudi with contempt for noncompliance. View "Wudi Industrial (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. v. Wai Wong" on Justia Law
Angelex Ltd. v. United States
The government appealed the district court's order which altered the terms of a bond the Coast Guard had fixed for the release of a detained ship that was under investigation and restricted the types of penalties the government could seek for the ship's potential violations of certain ocean pollution prevention statutes. The ship at issue, the Pappadakis, an ocean-going bulk cargo carrier carrying a shipment of coal to Brazil, was detained by the Coast Guard because the vessel had likely been discharging bilge water overboard. The court reversed and remanded for dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) where the matter was not subject to review in the district court because the Coast Guard's actions were committed to agency discretion by law. Consequently, the district court lacked jurisdiction to consider the petition. View "Angelex Ltd. v. United States" on Justia Law
Tire Engineering and Distribution, LLC. v. Shandong Linglong Rubber Co.
Alpha sued defendants, foreign corporations, alleging that defendants conspired to steal its tire blueprints, produce infringing tires, and sell them to entities that had formerly purchased products from Alpha. A jury found in favor of Alpha on all claims and the district court upheld the damages award against defendants' post-trial challenges. Defendants subsequently appealed, contesting the verdict and the district court's exercise of personal jurisdiction. The court initially held that the district court properly exercised jurisdiction over defendants. The court affirmed the district court's judgment that defendants were liable to Alpha under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq., and for conversion under Virginia law, but the court dismissed the remaining theories of liability submitted to the jury. Accordingly, the court affirmed the jury's damages award. Finally, the court vacated the district court's award of attorneys' fees. View "Tire Engineering and Distribution, LLC. v. Shandong Linglong Rubber Co." on Justia Law
Tang, et al. v. Synutra Int’l, Inc., et al.
Plaintiffs, citizens and residents of China, alleged that they were injured by melamine-contaminated infant formula in China. Defendant, among others, manufactured and distributed the contaminated products exclusively to China. At issue was the district court's forum non conveniens dismissal. The court held that defendant carried its burden and showed that plaintiffs could obtain a remedy for their injuries either from the Chinese courts or a fund established by the Chinese government to compensate the children and families affected by contaminated infant formula (the Fund). Therefore, the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that China was an adequate alternative forum and the district court did not err by weighing the public and private interest factors, finding that China was a more convenient forum in which to adjudicate the dispute. Accordingly, the district court's forum non conveniens dismissal was not an abuse of discretion.