LTL Wins Third Ninth Circuit Appeal in Past 12 Months
Lee Tran & Liang ("LTL") continues its string of appellate victories. On October 4th, 2010, the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part, and reversed in part, the lower court’s rulings – both in favor of LTL’s client, Hana Financial, Inc., a factoring company with over a billion dollars in factored volume. LTL partner Enoch Liang handled the briefing and oral argument. The defendant Hana Bank—one of the top three largest Korean banks—was represented by Sheppard Mullin, an large, international law firm.
Two lower court decisions were being appealed. First, LTL’s client had sued defendant Hana Bank for trademark infringement. The district court granted defendant Hana Bank’s motion for summary judgment based on its finding that Hana Bank had used “HANA” before LTL’s client (LTL did not represent Hana Financial in the district court). Second, LTL’s client obtained summary judgment on Hana Bank’s counterclaim to cancel Hana Financial’s trademark registration for alleged fraud on the Trademark Office.
On the first issue, the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Hana Bank, finding that issues of fact required a trial on the issue of priority. On the second issue, the Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of LTL’s client, agreeing that defendant Hana Bank failed to raise a triable issue that Hana Financial’s “founders signed the [trademark] registration application with the requisite knowledge and fraudulent intent.”
This is an unqualified victory for LTL’s client. In the upcoming trial, defendant Hana Bank can no longer cancel Hana Financial’s trademark registration for “HANA.” The only remaining issue at trial will be Hana Financial’s trademark infringement claims against Hana Bank.
“We pride ourselves in our litigation skills, both at the trial and appellate levels,” stated partner Enoch Liang. “We will continue to build upon our victories to provide our clients with the high level of service and results they have come to expect from LTL.”
Enoch Liang’s oral argument can be heard here, and the decision can be read here.