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Raised in a family of patent lawyers – his father and grandfather were both patent attorneys who started the eponymous firm Lyon & Lyon – Mr.
Enter Sleekcraft – a manufacturer of high-end racing boats, founded in 1968 by Bruce Nescher. AMF – a veritable megacorporation – had just two attorneys, one associate and one partner, representing them throughout the entire Sleekcraft case. The entire bench trial lasted one day, and Judge Curtis ruled that there was no likelihood of confusion. After finding a likelihood of confusion, the 9th Circuit remanded the case back to district court for entry of an injunction.
Pre-Injunction SleekCraft Logo (this is an Autocad drawing made by an enthusiast who wanted the retro logo on a plaque).
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Ask us for our Monterey Bow ridder, Wellcraft Scarab, Chaparral Cruisers, Seabold, Cobalt and Four Winns Express Cruiser. Upon remand the district court should consider the above interests in structuring appropriate relief. In just a few years, Sleekcraft went from the new kid on the block to a serious AMF competitor. At minimum, the logo should appear in all advertisements, signs, and promotional materials prepared either by appellee or by his retail dealers, and on all appellee’s business forms except those intended for strictly internal use. As recounted in the appellate decision with respect to the intent of the parties, the parties were “genuinely interested in avoiding confusion.” In fact, the claims for money damages were dropped on appeal. A specific disclaimer of any association with AMF or the Slickcraft line seems unnecessary, nor do we think it necessary to enjoin Nescher from expanding his product line.


1979), is famous for the 9th Circuit’s articulation of the likelihood of confusion multi-factor test. In its discretion the district judge may allow appellee sufficient time to consume supplies at hand and to add the logo to more permanent assets, such as business signs. Lyon made a big point about this, saying that the Nescher logo was highly stylized and really different from AMF’s, insinuating that no one could possibly mistake the two.
If avoiding confusion was the genuine motivation for AMFs suit, then that’s a pretty good result. In 1985, the Slickcraft mark was expressly abandoned, and AMF reportedly took a tax write off for the loss.



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