$3.17 MILLION JUDGMENT AFFIRMED ON APPEAL
Posted in / Intellectual Property / - on June 29, 2018
Trojan Law Offices is pleased to announce that we have secured an arbitration award exceeding $3.17 million for Capital Brands LLC, which is the maker of the iconic NutriBullet and Magic Bullet blenders. On May 4, 2018, an international appellate panel affirmed a judgment in favor of Capital Brands LLC against Brand Developers for breaching an Intellectual Property Licensing and Exclusive Distribution Agreement in Australia and New Zealand.
In February, 2015, Capital Brands instituted an International Arbitration proceeding against Brand Developers, its former licensee in Australia and New Zealand. In October, 2015, a trial was held before the Hon. James Ware, former Chief Judge of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California. Capital Brands prevailed when Judge Ware found that Brand Developers had breached the licensing and distribution agreement, awarding damages to Capital Brands of nearly $3 million.
In granting attorneys’ fees to Capital Brands (CB), Judge Ware noted that “CB[’s] counsel, R. Joseph Trojan and his associates conducted CB’s case with efficiency, focus and speed. Their hourly rates were actually lower than those charged by comparable attorneys. The Arbitrator finds no waste or duplicity [in] counsel’s work.”
Brand Developers appealed. The Appellate Arbitration Panel was chaired by Sir Bernard Rix. Sir Rix is the former Lord Justice of England’s Court of Appeal and Queen’s Counsel. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen%27s_Counsel It was the first time we had the pleasure of arguing a case before an English Knight. The co-chairs were the Hon. Judge Wayne Brazil (Federal District Court trial judge, Ret.) and Neil Kaplan, a Judge of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong, Ret.
A typical appellate hearing in an American court of appeal consists of 30 minutes to an hour of oral argument. In this appeal, the hearing consisted of two full days of oral argument. In a forty-six page opinion, the panel affirmed the entire award and added attorney fees and interest on appeal. In awarding attorney fees, the Panel held “[a]s for the rates charged by Trojan…, the Panel finds that they are more than reasonable.” We are pleased to note that Capital Brands has collected the full amount of the award pursuant to an agreement to permit the appeal.