This litigation involves five of the Sovereign Order’s registered service marks: one design mark and four word marks. The Sovereign Order’s design mark is an eight-pointed Maltese cross on a shield:There's also some upsetness with the district judge:
The Sovereign Order’s word marks are:
Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta
Knights of Malta
Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem
Order of St. John of Jerusalem
The Sovereign Order’s design mark and its first two word marks became “incontestable” in 2008 and 2009. That is, the Sovereign Order filed an affidavit with the United States Patent and Trademark Office attesting that it used the marks continuously for five years and satisfied the other statutory criteria for incontestability. See 15 U.S.C. § 1065.
The Sovereign Order alleges that the Florida Priory’s name and symbol infringe its five registered service marks. The Florida Priory’s name—“Knights Hospitallers of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, the Ecumenical Order”—is unregistered. The Florida Priory’s symbol is a white cross on a red shield, centered on a white Maltese cross with a red crown above it:
In this second appeal, the Sovereign Order complains about several comments that the district judge made on remand. For instance, the Sovereign Order complains that the district judge again impugned its motives, speculating that “it’s obvious what’s going on here, that [the Sovereign Order] waited five years until [its marks] became [i]ncontestable where [it] knew all along [that] the defendant was using this name.” Tr. 3. Additionally, the district judge told the parties, “[A]s I looked over what the other senior judges are doing, a number of them say we don’t want any trademark cases, and I thought, you know, that’s probably a good idea.” Id. at 4.Ultimately, the case is not reassigned but the district court is reversed again.
If this is too much for a Friday, here is your moment of zen: