Declaratory Judgment Granted for a Determination That It Owed No Personal and Advertising Injury Coverage in IP case

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Overview

SmithAmundsen represented the plaintiff-insurer which filed a declaratory judgment action for a determination that it owed no personal and advertising injury coverage to the policyholder based on the intellectual property exclusion in the policies.  Initially, the policyholder had brought the suit for a declaration of non-infringement of trademarks but the owner of the U.S. trademarks counterclaimed, alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition, under the Lanham Act and at common law, tortious interference, and unjust enrichment against the policyholder.  The policyholder moved for summary judgment and the insurer moved for judgment on the pleadings.  The district court granted the insurer judgment on the pleadings, finding that the IP exclusion applied to relieve the insurer of the duty to defend because the counterclaim was predicated on trademark infringement allegations in each count of the counterclaim.  There was no appeal.

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