HomePatentsTrademarksCopyrights & DMCALife Science & FDADomain Name & InternetFree Defense of LawsuitsSample IP CasesSample IP ClientsPractice AreasCease and DesistDomain NamesPatent OverviewTrademark OverviewCopyright OverviewTrade Dress OverviewAttorneys & CareersTrademark BulliesContact Us & LocationsNews & Current EventsDisclaimersWieBlog

The IP attorneys of the Wiemelt Knechtel have experience in policy holder insurance coverage litigation and intellectual property infringement (patent, trademark, service mark, trade dress, false advertising, trade secret, and copyright), spam e-mail (Can-Spam Act), junk fax and Do Not Call lawsuits.

Our firm was ranked among the "TOP PATENT FIRMS" in the U.S. in the March 2013, February 2012, and March 2010 issues of  Intellectual Property Today, a monthly publication focused on legal issues in patent, trademark and copyright law.  Our firm was also ranked among the "TOP TRADEMARK FIRMS" in the U.S. in the May 2013, May 2012, May 2011, May 2010 and May 2009 issues of Intellectual Property Today.

Our IP trial lawyers offer a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION (312-372-7664) and review of a company's existing insurance coverage to determine if the insurance company owes its insured a duty to defend and/or indemnify the client in the event of an infringement lawsuit, includng Microsoft lawsuits.

We also offer a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION and review of a company's pending IP litigation and insurance policies to find coverage and an insurer's duty to pay the attorneys' fees and costs of the defense in a lawsuit. Upon completion of the free review, we selectively defend IP infringement lawsuits at no cost to the client.

Frequently, businesses receive threatening letters from their competitors' attorneys alleging patent, trademark or copyright infringement, domain name infringement, cybersquatting, cyberpiracy, trade secret misappropriation, false advertising or unfair competition. All too often, these businesses agree to cease and desist the allegedly infringing activities, regardless of the merits of their competitors' claims, simply because they wish to avoid or cannot afford the costly litigation process. Unfortunately, many of these businesses fail to realize that they have a current or expired insurance policy which obligates the insurance company to defend and indemnify them in lawsuits involving intellectual property rights.

In addition, insurance brokers, insurance agents and insurance companies sometimes advise businesses that their policies do not provide infringement defense coverage, even when coverage exists. Insurance companies may even reject the tender of the case and deny coverage in cases when coverage exists. Worse yet, attorneys without experience in these matters sometimes accept the insurance company's rejection of the tender and denial of coverage and advise businesses that coverage does not exist. As a result, businesses faced with a cease and desist demand or a lawsuit involving intellectual property rights should have their case reviewed by attorneys familiar with intellectual property and insurance coverage law.

Typical Commercial General Liability (CGL) policies contain "advertising injury" provisions which may trigger coverage in lawsuits involving intellectual property. To be covered, the alleged infringements must have occurred in the course of advertising activities. However, even if the policy contains the "advertising injury" language, coverage issues may arise.

For example, the typical complaint for infringement of intellectual property rights includes additional counts for intentional or willful infringement. Most CGL policies contain language expressly excluding intentional acts. Fortunately, intentional acts in the context of malice or specific intent, which are not covered, may be distinguished from willfulness in the context of infringement, which may be covered. If the carrier chooses to defend under a reservation of rights with respect to the intentional or willful counts, a conflict of interest is created and the insured may have the right to select independent defense counsel. In such situations, the carrier may also be responsible for payment of the independent defense counsel's fees because its duty to defend is broader than its duty to indemnify.

Personal, business or umbrella policies may also provide coverage for defamation, libel, slander or disparagement.

Of course, it may not always be in the defendant's or the plaintiff's best interest to trigger insurance coverage. This decision should be made by counsel familiar with the merits of the intellectual property claims, as well as the insurance coverage issues.

TopTrademarkFirms2010.jpg

TopTrademarkFirms2010.jpg

Our experienced lawyers have unparalleled success in obtaining insurance coverage for the defense of infringement lawsuits, including a defense provided to our clients by the following insurance companies: AMCO Insurance Company (“Allied”), American Family Insurance Company, The Cincinnati Insurance Company, First Mercury Insurance Company, General Casualty Company of Wisconsin, Safeco Insurance Company, State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, Selective Insurance Company, Beazley Insurance Company, the Westfield Insurance Company, Federal Insurance Company, Chubb Insurance Company, CNA, and American Casualty Company of Reading, PA.


FREE DEFENSE OF SPAM E-MAIL (CAN-SPAM ACT), JUNK FAX, AND DO NOT CALL LAWSUITS

Our trial lawyers offer a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION and review of a company's existing insurance coverage to determine if the insurance company owes its insured a duty to defend and/or indemnify the client in the event of spam e-mail (Can-Spam Act), junk fax and Do Not Call lawsuits.

We also offer a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION and review of a company's pending litigation and insurance policies to find coverage and an insurer's duty to pay the attorneys' fees and costs of the defense in a lawsuit. Upon completion of the free review, we selectively defend infringement lawsuits at no cost to the client.

All too often, businesses fail to realize that they have a current or expired insurance policy which obligates the insurance company to defend and indemnify them in spam e-mail (Can-Spam Act), junk fax and Do Not Call lawsuits.

In addition, insurance brokers, insurance agents and insurance companies sometimes advise businesses that their policies do not provide defense coverage, even when coverage exists. Insurance companies may even reject the tender of the case and deny coverage in cases when coverage exists. Worse yet, attorneys without experience in these matters sometimes accept the insurance company's rejection of the tender and denial of coverage and advise businesses that coverage does not exist. As a result, businesses faced with a spam e-mail (Can-Spam Act), junk fax and Do Not Call lawsuit should have their case reviewed by attorneys familiar with such cases and insurance coverage law.

Typical Commercial General Liability (CGL) policies contain "advertising injury" provisions which may trigger coverage in spam e-mail (Can-Spam Act), junk fax and Do Not Call lawsuits.  However, coverage issues may arise.  For example, the typical complaint includes allegations of intentional or willful infringement. Most CGL policies contain language expressly excluding intentional acts. Fortunately, intentional acts in the context of malice or specific intent, which are not covered, may be distinguished from willfulness in the context of infringement, which may be covered. If the carrier chooses to defend under a reservation of rights with respect to the intentional or willful counts, a conflict of interest is created and the insured may have the right to select independent defense counsel. In such situations, the carrier may also be responsible for payment of the independent defense counsel's fees because its duty to defend is broader than its duty to indemnify.

Personal or umbrella policies may also provide coverage.

Of course, it may not always be in the defendant's or the plaintiff's best interest to trigger insurance coverage. This decision should be made by counsel familiar with the merits of the claims, as well as the insurance coverage issues.



© Copyright Wiemelt Knechtel 2003-13.  All rights reserved.