SOUTHFIELD, MI – A team of Brooks Kushman trial attorneys secured a multi-million-dollar jury verdict for trademark infringement in favor of Innovation Ventures LLC, the makers of 5-hour Energy® shots, against N.V.E., Inc. of New Jersey. The verdict included an award of $10.6 million in damages for N.V.E.’s manufacture and sale of an infringing product named “6 Hour Power.” The jury also awarded an additional $11.5 million for disgorgement of profits N.V.E. made on the infringing products, subject to further review by the Court. The jury fully rejected the claims brought by N.V.E. which included a $60 million false advertising claim. The verdict is believed to be the largest trademark verdict ever rendered in Michigan.
The four-week trial was held in the Eastern District of Michigan. “This trial was long and heavily contested,” said Marc Lorelli, trial counsel for Innovation Ventures. “More than 20 witnesses testified and it was important to keep focused on the issues the jury had to decide. As with most trials, credibility was a deciding factor.”
The trial was part of a lengthy lawsuit, which began in 2008. All claims of both parties were originally dismissed by the U.S. District Court. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of many of N.V.E.’s claims, but reinstated Innovation Ventures’ trademark infringement claim as well as a claim brought by N.V.E. for false advertising. Once back in the District Court, the lawsuit was overshadowed by the death in early 2015 of its original judge, the Honorable Lawrence Paul Zatkoff. The case was further delayed when Judge Zatkoff’s successor on the case, U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Berg, was shot a few months later as he fended off an attempted home invasion.
“This lawsuit had a number of twists and turns and it required a lot of 5-Hour Energy shots to get us through the past eight years, but we finally achieved a resounding victory,” said trial counsel Mark A. Cantor, president of Brooks Kushman. “This was a case of an infringing company trying to confuse customers into buying its product, and the jury applied the law correctly in Innovation Ventures’ favor.”
About Brooks Kushman P.C.
Brooks Kushman P.C. is a leading intellectual property (IP) and technology law firm with offices across the nation, and represents clients nationally and internationally with respect to protection, enforcement and monetization of IP, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. The firm has more than 90 intellectual property professionals specializing in various technical disciplines, and has a reputation for providing leading IP counseling with a focus on the business objectives of their clients.
Brooks Kushman counts a number of Fortune 100 companies across a variety of industries among its clients. The firm is also recognized by leading legal publications and rankings, including Corporate Counsel magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Law360, Intellectual Asset Management, Managing Intellectual Property, World Trademark Review, and Intellectual Property Today. For more information, please visit www.BrooksKushman.com.