BLG wins summary judgment finding trade dress to be functional in slurry pump case

August 15, 2009 | Intellectual Property News

BLG attorney Larry Graham teamed up with Beresford Booth in defending their client Atlas Equipment Company against charges that their slurry pumps infringed a trade dress owned by Weir Slurry Group and Weir Minerals. This complicated case involved gathering evidence and testimony from witnesses in China, Australia, and across the United States in order to evaluate several additional complicated claims related to breach of contract and palming off. Ultimately, BLG’s client Atlas prevailed on a motion for summary judgment prior to trial by proving that the alleged trade dress was functional rather than serving to identify Weir as the source of the pump. As the federal court for the Western District of Washington observed, it would create a case of first impression to hold that a non-functional trade dress can be comprised of a collection of individually functional elements.