The jury instruction improperly stated that the plaintiff was required to show willfulness for an award of profits.
Jury instructions given during a trial over whether a whale-watching company and its affiliates violated the Lanham Act by engaging in materially false or misleading advertising about their business failed to recite the correct legal standard, the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco has decided. Instead of stating that a defendant’s mental state was an important factor in whether or not to award profits, the instruction given stated that the defendants must have been shown to have acted willfully in order to award profits. Thus, the judgment was reversed to the extent that it decided to award profits and the case remanded fort a new trial on that issue (Harbor Breeze Corp. v. Newport Landing Sportfishing, Inc., March 7, 2022, Collins, D.).
Case date: 07 March 2022
Case number: No. 19-56138
Court: United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.