Firm Obtains Success in Highly Contested Trademark Opposition on Behalf of Advanced Animal Nutrition


Attorneys Thomas J. FitzGerald (New York -- Intellectual Property) and Joe Johnson (Springfield -- Business Litigation) led a legal team that successfully represented firm client Advanced Animal Nutrition in its attempt to register the mark "NITRO" for pet foods.

The opposer, Alpharma Inc., had long owned the mark "3-NITRO" for growth stimulants for animal feeds and hoped that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board would reject Advanced Animal Nutrition's application based on likelihood of confusion pursuant to Section 2(d) of the Trademark Act of 1946, 15 U.S.C. Alpharma asserted before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that the applicant had acted in bad faith when it selected its NITRO trademark because the company had been aware of Alpharma's products. The legal team successfully evinced, however, that the client was not trying to trade on the opposer’s goodwill when it adopted and started using its NITRO mark.

Mr. FitzGerald's litigation experience has included civil actions for patent, copyright, trademark, and trade dress infringement as well as actions involving licensing disputes, trademark dilution, unfair competition, and false advertising. He also advises clients regarding both domestic and international registration, enforcement and licensing of trademarks and copyrights and drafts licensing agreements for various forms of intellectual and industrial properties. He represents clients in all matters and proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and advises clients on matters within the Copyright Office and before the Registrar of Copyrights including formalities of applications, public domain clearances, and responses to refusals from the Copyright Office.

Mr. Johnson's background includes litigation of product liability cases, environmental and antitrust matters, and has handled matters involving patent and trademark prosecution as well as antitrust matters, trade secret consultation and intellectual property litigation. His representative clients include medical device manufacturers, physician investors, international manufacturers, sporting goods companies, chemical companies, a telecommunications consulting and engineering firm, a stainless steel fabricating company and several publishers, as well as numerous small businesses and individual inventors.

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