Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at June 13, 2006 10:14 AM
The fact that a lawsuit has been filed can be an incredibly valuable piece of information, especially in the practice of trademark law. To wit, Rethink(IP) has released a new weekly e-mail newsletter. Called Trademark Lawsuit Mojo, the newsletter consists of a list of Federal trademark lawsuits that surfaced in the previous week.
Why is the existence of a lawsuit being filed such a valuable piece of information?
First, the defendant might not know that he/she/it has been sued!
Your company, or your client, might have no idea that a lawsuit has been filed. How can this be? Remember that in the United States, a plaintiff has 120 days from the date of filing to serve a Complaint upon the defendant(s). To reserve a preferred venue/forum, many times a plaintiff will preemptively file the suit and not serve the Complaint, spending up to the next 120 days putting their case together, acquiring additional evidence, and (sometimes) attempting to settle the dispute.
Knowing that your company or client has been sued (but hasn't been served) can be priceless information when counseling them. How's that for a valuable "heads up?"
Second, the filing of a lawsuit can also be a valuable piece of competitive intelligence.
Knowing that competitor X just sued competitor Y may change discussions you're having with competitor X, Y, and/or A! It could also help in decision-making on several issues, such as marketing and product development. Best of all, it may allow you to monitor the case for information that might be helpful in a variety of situations.
As one reader recently put it:
I subscribed last week and already impressed a client yesterday by being aware of a lawsuit filed by one of its competitors.
You can subscribe to Trademark Lawsuit Mojo using one of the below links. Current rates are $99.99 a year or $9.99 a month. The first three weeks are free (free trial). After the free trial expires you can decide whether you would like to continue your subscription.
We don't expect any of us will be quitting our day jobs anytime soon
commercialization of this project (and eventually Copyright and Patent newsletters) is done to fund the “Rethink(IP) Projects Account” and let us provide additional cool tools and services to the legal community. Apparently computer programmers don’t work for free.
Please contact Stephen M. Nipper at email@example.com for additional information.
[update: if you'd like to see what our "beta" test of the data looks like, please check out the old site.]