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Fulwider Patton Obtains Favorable Trademark Settlement for JDA Global

A trademark infringement and false advertising suit brought against JDA Global LLC by Wilden Pump and Engineering LLC in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California was dismissed with prejudice on May 20, 2013, in accordance with a settlement agreement between the parties. JDA was represented by Vern Schooley, Scott Hansen, and Kenya Williams of Fulwider Patton LLP. Mr. Schooley said that JDA was very pleased with the terms of the settlement.

Wilden is owned by Dover Corporation, a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company specializing in industrial products and equipment. The CEO of Fulwider’s client JDA is a former President of Dover’s large pump business. Wilden’s pumps are traditionally orange in color, while JDA’s NOMAD™ pumps are a “desert tan” in keeping with JDA’s desert nomad theme. Among other things, Wilden accused JDA of infringing Wilden’s trademark rights in the color orange.

Earlier in the case, JDA moved for partial summary judgment of no trademark infringement regarding Wilden's alphanumeric codes for replacement parts, arguing that the XX-YYYY-ZZ part codes are functional and do not serve as source identifiers. Wilden's codes used the scheme XX-YYYY-ZZ, where XX identifies the size of the pump, YYYY identifies the part itself, and ZZ identifies the material from which the part was made. For many years, Wilden's competitors have used Wilden's part codes in connection with the sale of replacement parts for Wilden pumps, adding a prefix to the beginning of the code to identify the other company followed by the complete Wilden code for the intended replacement part (e.g., PP01-1080-52).

Wilden, however, argued that its numbering scheme was entitled to trademark protection, given "the long and exclusive use of those designations by Wilden—and others—to represent Wilden products." The court disagreed with Wilden and ruled in favor of JDA, finding that "it is the prefix before the numbers which designates the source, while the numbers themselves merely represent the product with which a particular part is compatible." Wilden Pump & Eng’g LLC v. JDA Global LLC, 105 U.S.P.Q.2d 1166 (C.D. Cal. 2012).

The case was settled before the Court decided whether Wilden had protectable trademark rights in the color orange on its pumps and in advertising, and whether JDA's use of the desert tan color was infringing. Information about JDA Global and its lines of pumps and after-market pump parts may be found at http://www.jdaglobal.com/.