5
Mar/08

Important FRE 408 Discussion in Ralph Lauren v. US Polo Ass'n (2d Cir)


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Plaintiff says to Defendant during settlement discussions “we have a problem with your trademark A but not your trademark B.” Plaintiff goes on to sue for infringement on both A and B. Defendant seeks to enter plaintiff’s statement to prove estoppel by acquiescence. FRE 408 on its face makes inadmissible settlement statements as they go to invalidity of plaintiff’s claim. In this case, the statement can’t be entered as evidence that plaintiff believed that there was no likelihood of confusion. However, such statements may be offered for other purposes. Defendant argues that it can’t prove estoppel and acquiescence without the statement because the statement was the basis for its reliance on plaintiff not taking action. Plaintiff argued that Defendant’s reading of the exception swallows the rule, because its claim is invalid if there is an estoppel defense. 2d Cir holds that plaintiff’s reading of the rule would swallow the exception, and let’s the statement in.
PRL USA Holdings v. US Polo Association, et al, 06-3691-cv (2d Cir March 4 2008)
Name the movie where this line is from: “I had two ponies drown under me.”

Filed under: FRE 408

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