HOLDINGS: -Jury properly determined that the corporate defendant did not unlawfully infringe on the corporate plaintiff’s mark under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200, et seq. because the court did not abuse its discretion by allowing the defendant to question the plaintiff’s founder about his prior convictions for mail and wire fraud under Fed. R. Evid. 609 and 613, and the court properly concluded that the case was not an “exceptional” case under the Lanham Act § 43, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1125, and the court correctly noted that the scope of 28 U.S.C.S. § 1920 was “narrow,” “limited,” and “modest.”
Decision affirmed. Appellant was represented by a business attorney.
Counterdefendants filed a motion to dismiss counterclaimant’s second and third counterclaims for relief asserted in its third amended answer and counterclaim, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Counterclaimant asserted claims for attempted monopolization, interference with prospective economic advantage, and unfair competition under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq.
Counterdefendant one, a software company, asserted that the few new allegations in the complaint did not remedy counterdefendant’s failure to plead the necessary elements of an attempted monopolization claim. According to the software company, the court had to dismiss the attempted monopolization claim because counterclaimant did not sufficiently allege the elements of such a claim. The court noted that for counterclaimant to assert a claim for attempted monopolization, it had to allege (1) counterdefendants’ specific intent to control prices or destroy competition; (2) counterdefendant’s predatory or anti-competitive conduct directed at accomplishing that purpose; (3) a dangerous probability of counterdefendant achieving monopoly power; and (4) causal antitrust injury to competition. The court found that counterclaimant had sufficiently stated facts to support its attempted monopolization claim. Addressing the interference with prospective economic advantage claim, the court held that counterclaimant had alleged the element of independently wrongful conduct because it alleged the software company’s claims of copyright infringement were false.
The court denied counterdefendants’ motion to dismiss the second counterclaim for attempted monopolization and the third counterclaim for interference with prospective economic advantage.