McDermott Secures First Judgment Under the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016

Overview


WASHINGTON, DC (May 8, 2017) — Litigators from international law firm McDermott Will & Emery secured a significant victory on behalf of specialty food company Dalmatia Import Group, Inc. (“Dalmatia”) in the case of Dalmatia Import Group, Inc. v. FoodMatch Inc. et al. The final judgment, entered May 3, 2017, is the first obtained by any law firm under the Defend Trade Secrets Act, which was signed into law in 2016, and includes treble damages.

Under the judgment, Dalmatia will recover more than $5.2 million in damages, along with an injunction preventing future use of Dalmatia’s trade secrets. Dalmatia will also recover its attorneys’ fees and costs.

In February, after a four-week trial, the jury handed down its verdict in favor of Dalmatia in a bet-the-company matter involving trade secret, trademark infringement, counterfeiting, contract, and conversion claims surrounding Dalmatia’s award-winning fig spread. Dalmatia is the market leader in specialty fig jam products found in grocery stores and gourmet food shops across the country. A year ago, Dalmatia discovered that its former business partners, New York-based FoodMatch, Inc. and Pennsylvania-based Lancaster Fine Foods, Inc., were working together to launch an impersonator jam called “Divina fig spread.” Around that same time, Dalmatia also learned that those same business partners had taken jam that Dalmatia had rejected as poor quality and sold it to the public in Dalmatia’s jars under Dalmatia labels as if it were authorized Dalmatia jam when it was not.

Throughout 2016, McDermott battled in the Southern District of New York, in arbitration, and in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where the case culminated in a four week jury trial in Easton. After deliberations, the federal jury found FoodMatch and Lancaster liable for misappropriation of trade secrets, trademark infringement, counterfeiting, breach of contract, and conversion.

“McDermott’s trial team was on the cutting edge of the interpretation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act, and I was proud to watch our lawyers in action while ultimately achieving a complete victory for the client.” said Sarah Columbia, global head of McDermott’s Intellectual Property Practice.

The trial took place in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania under docket number 2:16-cv-02767. The case was tried by Michael S. Nadel, Natalie Bennett, and Jennifer Routh from the Firm’s Washington, DC office, along with Lauren Handel of the Handel Food Law Firm.

About McDermott Will & Emery
McDermott Will & Emery is a premier international law firm with a diversified business practice. Numbering more than 1,000 lawyers, we have offices in Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Dallas, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Silicon Valley and Washington, DC. Further extending our reach into Asia, we have a strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices in Shanghai.

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