29
Mar/10

4th Circuit: Can State Courts Decide What Might Be Lanham Act Claims?


Defendant sues plaintiff in Virginia state court for defamation and ‘common law’ trademark infringement. It is contested whether a Lanham Act claim was made. Plaintiff brings DJ action in fed. court, fed, court remands back to state court. 4th Circuit concedes that there is jurisdiction in fed court but jurisdiction here under the DJ Act is an ‘authorization and not a command,’ and that the district court did not abuse its discretion by abstaining to exercise jurisdiction over this case. Read the dissent. Background on the dispute can be obtained by searching Dozier Riley defamation.
Decsion 4th Circuit Dozier Abstention