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C & N Corp. v. Kane

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

June 24, 2014

C& N CORPORATION, doing business as DOOR PENINSULA WINERY, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
GREGORY KANE & ILLINOIS RIVER WINERY, INC., Defendants-Appellants

Argued April 25, 2014

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. No. 1:12-cv-00257 -- William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge.

For C& N CORPORATION, doing business as DOOR PENINSULA WINERY, Plaintiff - Appellee: Christoper Reagan Liro, Aaron T. Olejniczak, Attorneys, ANDRUS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW, Milwaukee, WI.

For GREGORY KANE, ILLINOIS RIVER WINERY, INC., Defendants - Appellant: Timothy J. Casper, Attorney, MURPHY & DESMOND S.C., Madison, WI.

Before KANNE and ROVNER, Circuit Judges, and DOW, District Judge.[*]

OPINION

Page 1025

Kanne, Circuit Judge.

Both parties in this case are Midwestern wineries that produce a spiced apple wine they call " Hallowine." Door Peninsula Winery sued Illinois River Winery and its owner, Gregory Kane, for trademark infringement. The district court ruled in Door Peninsula's favor and ordered Illinois River to pay damages. Illinois River now appeals, but because it raises only arguments that were not before the district court, we affirm.

I. Background

Door Peninsula Winery, a Wisconsin company, began selling and distributing a spiced apple wine called " Hallowine" in 1998. Sales were brisk, and Door Peninsula expanded operations into Illinois later that year.

The seasonal spiced apple wine market also beckoned to Illinois River Winery and its owner, Gregory Kane. Illinois River[1] began selling its own Hallowine in 2005 and sought to register the Hallowine mark with the Patent and Trademark Office (" PTO" ) in 2006. Door Peninsula initiated opposition proceedings at the PTO and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled in its favor, finding that Door Peninsula had priority in the Hallowine mark.

Illinois River continued to sell its Hallowine despite the PTO ruling. Kane considered alternative names for the seasonal wine, but ultimately decided that consumers would prefer Hallowine.

Page 1026

Door Peninsula filed suit against Illinois River in March 2012, asserting infringement of its common law trademark rights and infringement of unregistered marks under ยง 43(a) of the Lanham Act. In response, Illinois River asserted 27 affirmative defenses. After some discovery, Door Peninsula moved for partial summary judgment, seeking dismissal of Illinois River's affirmative defenses and a finding that Illinois River was liable for trademark infringement to the tune of $508,864.26 in damages. The district court granted the ...


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