Relying on an Orrick trial team, C5 Medical Werks LLC and CoorsTek Medical prevailed today in important trade dress litigation in U.S. District Court in Colorado. U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson issued a 21-page ruling rejecting CeramTec’s claims to trade dress rights in the color pink and demand for an injunction that threatened the ability of CoorsTek and C5 to sell their pink-colored hip implant components.
The judge’s decision stems from an eleven-day bench trial that was completed last October. C5 sought a court declaration that CeramTec does not own trade dress rights in the color pink for a variety of reasons. Backing the arguments of our team, led by Peter Vogl and Diana Rutowski, the judge concluded CeramTec in fact could not claim trade dress (or trademark) protections for the color pink.
The case is significant because color is rarely litigated in the United States. The decision has now created precedent that a functional attribute described in a patent that creates a color cannot later serve as trade dress, even in the face of “new science” by the purported trademark owner. As the judge put it in his findings of fact and conclusions of law, “The late Arnold Palmer once said that golf is a game that is deceptively simple but endlessly complicated. Here, I find the opposite is true: while deceptively complicated, in the end this case is relatively simple.”
In addition to Peter and Diana, the team included partner Lisa Simpson and associates Scott Lonardo, Jordan Coyle, Jesse Cheng, Daniel Justice, Briggs Wright, Shasha Zou, Cammie Phan, Nish Hossain and Derek Knerr, as well as former associate Ilene Albala and paralegals Amy Dalton, James Cangialosi and legal assistant Abby Ako-Nai.