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ZLD Client Leadership Studies Wins Declaratory Relief Against Use of Its Trademarks and Copyrights

June 13, 2017

On last Friday, June 2, 2017, ZLD client Leadership Studies won declaratory relief and a permanent injunction against usage of its trademarks and copyrights, as well as $1,128,930.89 in statutory damages for trademark and copyright infringement, plus attorneys’ fees and costs, against a rogue former international affiliate.  Leadership Studies, Inc. v. ReadyToManage, Inc., et al., 2:15-cv-09459-CAS-AJW (C.D. Cal. June 2, 2016).  Leadership Studies, Inc. is a pioneer global management leadership training company.  Led by Silicon Valley partner Michele Desoer, and Los Angeles partners Jeff Zuber and Rob Dickerson, Zuber Lawler & Del Duca handles global IP enforcement of Leadership Studies’ valuable intellectual properties, including its famous trademark SITUATIONAL LEADERSHIP®.

The Honorable Christina A. Snyder found all five defendants – including a former principal of Leadership Studies’ Australian affiliate, and a web of several Australian and U.S. corporations who continued to sell unauthorized derivatives of proprietary materials – culpable, and entered default judgment based on numerous willful infringements:

“Plaintiff’s well-pled facts have shown a likelihood of confusion as to the origin of the infringing products, and thus a potential loss of prospective customers, as well as harm to reputation and goodwill if the products are inferior. Therefore, the Court finds that plaintiff will be irreparably harmed by defendants’ continued use and infringement of plaintiff’s trademarks and copyrights. . . . In accordance with the foregoing, the Court GRANTS plaintiff’s motion for default judgment with respect to plaintiff’s claims for trademark infringement, copyright infringement, unfair competition, declaratory relief, and injunctive relief against the moving defendants.”

At the initial status conference, the Court expressed doubt as to whether this case warranted over one million dollars in damages. However, the court was eventually persuaded by the briefing of Zuber Lawler & Del Duca attorneys Michele Desoer and James Boyajian, who submitted briefs identifying over 1,500 pages of documented infringements.

The judgment is a substantial victory for Leadership Studies’ ongoing policing efforts to protect its brands and copyrights, as well as reduce the likelihood of consumer confusion in the leadership training market.

A separate lawsuit filed by Zuber Lawler & Del Duca on behalf of Leadership Studies in the Southern District of California for claims related to Situational Leadership® against competitor Blanchard Training & Development, Inc. is still pending.