Bovis, Kyle and Burch, LLC is pleased to announce that Ben Leonard has been invited to join the prestigious Council on Litigation Management. The Council is a nonpartisan alliance comprised of thousands of insurance companies, corporations, Corporate Counsel, Litigation and Risk Managers, claims professionals and attorneys. Through education and collaboration the organization's goals are to create a common interest in the representation by firms of companies, and to promote and further the highest standards of litigation management in pursuit of client defense. Selected attorneys and law firms are extended membership by invitation only based on nominations from CLM Fellows.
Ben Leonard Invited to Join Council on Litigation Management
Adam Grafton Leads Plaintiff Counsel at Atlanta Claims Association Mock Trial
On April 14, 2011, the Education Committee of the Atlanta Claims Association hosted a full day of courtroom drama for continuing education credit. BKB's own Adam Grafton led the Plaintiff's counsel in this entertaining and educational mock trial. For full details of the courtroom action, please click on the attached link below:
BKB's Greg Presmanes elected to Atlanta Bar Association's Board of Directors
Bovis, Kyle and Burch, LLC is pleased to announce that Greg Presmanes, our Workers' Compensation department head, has been elected to serve on the Atlanta Bar Association's Board of Directors as a member at large, after serving this past year as a member of the Board in his capacity as Chairman of the Workers' Compensation Section of the Atlanta Bar Association.
Six BKB Attorneys honored as Super Lawyers - 2011
Bovis, Kyle and Burch, LLC is proud to announce that six of our attorneys have been selected as Super Lawyers-2011. Selections to 'Super Lawyer' are made annually on a state by state basis and the selection criteria is based on a combination of peer reviews, professional achievement and third party research. Only up to 5% of attorneys in a state are named Super Lawyers. The following BKB attorneys were named to this esteemed list:
The Super Lawyers - Rising Star designation recognizes high performing, up-and-coming attorneys who are under 40 years old or have less than 10 years of legal experience. Only 2.5% of attorneys in a state are named to the Rising Star list each year. BKB is please to announce that the following attorney has been named to this honor:
We commend all of these attorneys on this special recognition.
Jack Burch Co-Presents Webinar to the Surety & Fidelity Association of America
Jack Burch, Senior Partner at Bovis, Kyle and Burch LLC, was a recent co-presenter of an educational webinar for the Surety & Fidelity Association of America. The webinar was titled "A Simple Summary of Subdivision Bonds for the Surety".
BKB Attorneys Obtain Summary Judgment For Client in Trademark Infringement Lawsuit
United States District Court Judge Thomas Thrash recently granted motions for summary judgment for BKB clients sued by Brown Bark II, L.P., an investment group that had purchased certain trademarks and had claimed infringement. Brown Bark II, L.P. v. Dixie Mills, LLC, Civil Action No. 1:08-CV-1303-TWT, 2010 U.S. Dist. Lexis 79867 (N.D.GA), Decided August 6, 2010.
BKB clients, Ted A. Adams, Adams Foods, Inc. and Adams Milling, Inc. ("Adams") had sold food products, including cornmeal, flour and southern breading under the Adams mark until 1999, at which time the Adams mark was sold to Southern Specialty Brands, Inc. ("SSB"). SSB gave a note to Adams secured by the trademark and its goodwill. In 2006, SSB defaulted on the note and Adams obtained a judgment against SSB giving it back full rights to the Adams mark.
In 2006, SSB defaulted on its unrelated debt to Regions Bank. In 2007, Regions sold the non-performing SSB loan to Brown Bark II, L.P. ("Brown Bark"). Brown Bark attempted to foreclose on SSB and believed that it had properly obtained title to the collateral securing the Regions Bank debt, which included the Adams mark.
Shortly thereafter, Adams started selling products under the Adams mark again. Brown Bark sued Adams for trademark and trade dress infringement and other related claims including civil conspiracy.
Relying on the record and authority developed by Adams' BKB attorneys Charles M. Medlin and Wayne S. Tartline, the District Court found that Adams owned the Adams mark due to the judgment in Alabama, despite that Brown Bark was not a party to the judgment. The Court also ruled that Brown Bark had abandoned its interest in the Adams mark because it had acquired the mark through an "assignment in gross". An assignment in gross results when only the mark is sold, without any related goodwill, such as recipes or formulas for the food products sold under the Adams name. "A sale (assignment) of a trademark apart from its goodwill is characterized as an 'assignment in gross' and passes no rights to the assignee". In re Impact Distributors, Inc., 260 B.R. 48, 53 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2001). When a trademark is obtained through an assignment in gross, divorced from the goodwill of the assignor, any subsequent use of the mark by the assignee will necessarily be in connection with a different business, a different goodwill and a different type of product. Use of the mark by the assignee in connection with a different goodwill and different product would result in a fraud on the purchasing public, who reasonably assume that the mark signified the same things, whether used by one person or another. MoneyStore v. Harriscorp Finance, Inc., 689 F.2d 666, 676 (7th Cir. 1982) (quoting McCarthy on Trademarks 18.1 at 607).
After obtaining summary judgment in favor of Adams, BKB attorneys obtained a judgment for all costs of the action against the Plaintiff. A Motion For Attorneys' Fees is also pending which could result in a judgment for Adams of over $100,000.00
Wayne Tartline becomes registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Bovis, Kyle & Burch, LLC announces that Wayne S. Tartline, associate, has become registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Tartline will continue expanding his practice to include all varieties of intellectual property services, including infringement litigation, advertising injury defense, patent prosecution and trademark and copyright protection and counseling.
Law of Probate Bonds slates Tim Burson for Two Chapters
Tim Burson has been tapped to prepare two chapters in the ABA’s scheduled 2011 publication of The Law of Probate Bonds (2nd Edition). Sharron Sergeant of CNA Surety and Jeffrey M. Frank of the Chicago Albert Crafton firm are the editors of this book published by the Torts and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association. Tim will be preparing a chapter addressing the liability of probate sureties for estate loans and another chapter addressing the liability of a probate surety for losses caused by the actions of a bond principal which occurred before the bond was issued. In the first edition of the ABA’s Law of Probate Bonds, published in 2001, Tim prepared Chapter 10—“Penal Sum Issues Relating to Probate Bonds.”
Three BKB Lawyers Honored as Georgia Trend's Legal Elite for 2010
Congratulations to three Bovis, Kyle and Burch LLC attorneys that were selected by their peers to Georgia Trend magazine's 'Legal Elite' for 2010. The BKB attorneys honored are C. Sam Thomas (Governmental Affairs), Charles M. Medlin (Family Law) and Anne-Marie Shipe (Labor and Employment Law). This is the 8th year that Georgia Trend has produced their annual 'Legal Elite' group, which represents Georgia's top attorneys in several practice areas.
Successful Trademark Infringement Defenses Continue for Bovis, Kyle and Burch, LLC
Bovis, Kyle and Burch (BKB) lawyers, including Wayne Tartline, recently obtained a very favorable settlement for a Defendant sued for trademark infringement. Mike's Golf Carts, LLC of Eastman, Georgia had been using the "Beast" mark in connection with the marketing and selling of off-road golf carts for almost ten years when it was sued by a South Georgia rival, Golf Cart World, Inc. (Golf Cart World, Inc. v. Mike's Golf Carts, LLC; United States District Court, Middle District of Georgia, Macon Division; Case No.: 5:09-CV-386). After receipt of the lawsuit, Mike's Golf Carts, LLC instituted a counterclaim alleging that it was, in fact, Golf Cart World, Inc. that was the infringing party.
Through the discovery process, BKB attorneys uncovered evidence that supported Mike's Golf Carts, LLC being the first to use the word "Beast" in connection with golf cart sales. The evidence developed and the expert testimony adduced in the case led to a very favorable settlement for the Defendant Mike's Golf Carts, LLC. Not only will Mike's Golf Carts, LLC be able to continue sales of its latest product, the "Beast Buggy," a substantial cash payment will be made by the Plaintiff to Mike's Golf Carts, LLC.