Eva's Bridal Ltd. v. Halanick Enter., Inc., No. 10-2863 (7th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
For many years the owners of the original bridal shop allowed family members to operate similar businesses under the same name. The owners sold one of their own shops and the buyer agreed to pay $75,000 per year for the use of the name and marks. When the agreement expired in 2002, the buyer continued to use the name and marks, without paying. The district court dismissed a 2007 claim under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1117, 1125. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, holding that the owners abandoned their mark by engaging in "naked licensing:" allowing others to use the mark without exercising reasonable control over the nature and quality of the goods, services, or business on which the mark is used. It was not enough that the owners had confidence in the high quality of the buyer's operation; they retained no control.