JL Beverage Company, LLC v. Fortune Brands Inc. et al, No. 2:2011cv00417 - Document 119 (D. Nev. 2013)

Court Description: ORDER that 111 Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED. FURTHER ORDERED that 113 Motion to Stay Briefing on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Counterclaims without prejudice and for Entry of Final Judgment is DENIED as moot. Plaintiff's Response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is due within fourteen (14) days from the entry of this Order. Signed by Judge Miranda M. Du on 6/14/13. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - MMM)
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JL Beverage Company, LLC v. Fortune Brands Inc. et al Doc. 119 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 9 *** 10 JL BEVERAGE COMPANY, LLC, 11 Plaintiff and Counter-Defendant, ORDER 12 13 Case No. 2:11-cv-00417-MMD-CWH v. BEAM, INC., et al., 14 Defendants and Counter-Plaintiffs. 15 (Plf.’s Motion for Reconsideration – dkt. no. 111) Plf.’s Motion to Stay Briefing on Defs.’ Motion to Dismiss Counterclaims Without Prejudice and For Entry of Final Judgment – dkt. no. 113) 16 17 I. SUMMARY 18 Before the Court are Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration (dkt. no. 111) and 19 Plaintiff’s Motion to Stay Briefing on Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss its Counterclaims 20 (dkt. no. 113). For the reasons stated below, both motions are denied. 21 II. BACKGROUND 22 The facts giving rise to this action have been described at great length in this 23 Court’s Order on Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction. (Dkt. no. 98.) There, the 24 Court denied Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction, holding that Plaintiff was 25 unlikely to succeed on the merits of its case. The parties subsequently filed cross- 26 motions for summary judgment on Plaintiff’s claims. The parties presented substantially 27 the same facts and arguments in support of and against those Motions as they did in 28 their Preliminary Injunction briefings. The Court granted Defendants’ Motion, and entered Dockets.Justia.com 1 judgment in favor of Defendants on all of Plaintiff’s claims. (Dkt. no. 107 at 9.) Plaintiff 2 now asks the Court to reconsider that determination. 3 III. MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION 4 A. Legal Standard 5 Although not mentioned in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, motions for 6 reconsideration may be brought under Rules 59(e) and 60(b). Rule 59(e) provides that 7 any motion to alter or amend a judgment shall be filed no later than 28 days after entry 8 of the judgment. The Ninth Circuit has held that a Rule 59(e) motion for reconsideration 9 should not be granted “absent highly unusual circumstances, unless the district court is 10 presented with newly discovered evidence, committed clear error, or if there is an 11 intervening change in the controlling law.” Marlyn Nutraceuticals, Inc. v. Mucos Pharma 12 GmbH & Co., 571 F.3d 873, 880 (9th Cir. 2009) (quoting 389 Orange Street Partners v. 13 Arnold, 179 F.3d 656, 665 (9th Cir. 1999)). 14 Under Rule 60(b), a court may relieve a party from a final judgment, order or 15 proceeding only in the following circumstances: (1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or 16 excusable neglect; (2) newly discovered evidence; (3) fraud; (4) the judgment is void; (5) 17 the judgment has been satisfied; or (6) any other reason justifying relief from the 18 judgment. Stewart v. Dupnik, 243 F.3d 549, 549 (9th Cir. 2000); see also De Saracho v. 19 Custom Food Mach., Inc., 206 F.3d 874, 880 (9th Cir. 2000) (noting that the district 20 court’s denial of a Rule 60(b) motion is reviewed for an abuse of discretion). 21 A motion for reconsideration must set forth the following: (1) some valid reason 22 why the court should revisit its prior order; and (2) facts or law of a “strongly convincing 23 nature” in support of reversing the prior decision. Frasure v. United States, 256 F. Supp. 24 2d 1180, 1183 (D. Nev. 2003). On the other hand, a motion for reconsideration is 25 properly denied when the movant fails to establish any reason justifying relief. Backlund 26 v. Barnhart, 778 F.2d 1386, 1388 (9th Cir. 1985) (holding that a district court properly 27 denied a motion for reconsideration in which the plaintiff presented no arguments that 28 were not already raised in his original motion)). Motions for reconsideration are not “the 2 1 proper vehicles for rehashing old arguments,” Resolution Trust Corp. v. Holmes, 846 F. 2 Supp. 1310, 1316 (S.D. Tex. 1994) (footnotes omitted), and are not “intended to give an 3 unhappy litigant one additional chance to sway the judge.” Durkin v. Taylor, 444 F. Supp. 4 879, 889 (E.D. Va. 1977). 5 B. Discussion 6 Plaintiff argues that reconsideration is warranted for two reasons: first, in denying 7 Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction, the Court held that the Sleekcraft factors did 8 not overwhelmingly favor either party; and second, there remain issues of fact regarding 9 several of the Sleekcraft factors. The Court addresses each argument in turn. 1. 10 Whether the Sleekcraft Factors Favor Defendants 11 Although the Court determined that “[t]his is not a case where the factors 12 overwhelmingly favor either party,” in their Motion for Reconsideration Plaintiff neglects 13 to mention that the Court held that the most important factors in the Sleekcraft analysis 14 here strongly favored Defendants. The Court held that: the relative import of each Sleekcraft factor is case-dependent. The very fact that this case involves similar products means that certain factors – degree of care, marketing channels, proximity of goods – almost automatically favor JL Beverage. In light of this, and given that JL Beverage’s allegations center around the alleged similarity between the parties’ use of ‘lips’ in their marks, the most important factor here is factor three, similarity of the marks. In fact, “[t]he similarity of marks ‘has always been considered a critical question in the likelihood-of-confusion analysis.’” M2 Software, 421 F.3d at 1082. The marks at issue, both their composite parts and when viewed as a whole, are not similar. 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Thus the Court held that the most important factor in this case, factor 3, clearly 22 favored Defendants. This holding was not contradicted by the evidence presented in the 23 parties’ summary judgment briefings. No genuine issue of material fact was presented 24 to the Court that would merit a different result from the one reached in the Court’s 25 decision denying the preliminary injunction request. As such, the Court did not commit 26 clear error by granting summary judgment in Defendants’ favor. 27 /// 28 /// 3 2. 1 Whether Issues of Fact Remain 2 Plaintiff also contends that there are several issues of material fact remaining, 3 warranting reconsideration of the Court’s Order. However, contrary to Plaintiff’s 4 assertions, the Court did not make subjective determinations concerning the evidence. 5 Plaintiff is correct that regarding factor 4, in its Order on Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary 6 Injunction, the Court stated that later evidence garnered through further discovery might 7 strengthen Plaintiff’s evidence of actual confusion. But Plaintiff did not present any such 8 evidence in support of or opposition to the cross-motions for summary judgment. The 9 Court noted this at page 8 of its Order. (Dkt. no. 107 at 8.) 10 11 MOTION TO STAY BRIEFING ON DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO DISMISS COUNTERCLAIMS WITHOUT PREJUDICE 12 Plaintiff also requests that the Court stay the briefing schedule on Defendants’ 13 Motion to Dismiss Counterclaims without Prejudice and for Entry of Final Judgment (dkt. 14 no. 109) until deciding its Motion for Reconsideration. This Order disposes of the Motion 15 for Reconsideration, and therefore Plaintiff’s Motion is denied as moot. Plaintiff is to 16 respond to the merits of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss within fourteen (14) days from 17 the entry of this Order. 18 V. 19 20 IV. CONCLUSION IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration (dkt. No. 111) is DENIED. 21 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion to Stay Briefing on Defendants’ 22 Motion to Dismiss Counterclaims without Prejudice and for Entry of Final Judgment (dkt. 23 no. 113) is DENIED AS MOOT. Plaintiff’s Response to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss is 24 due within fourteen (14) days from the entry of this Order. 25 DATED THIS 14th day of June 2013. 26 27 MIRANDA M. DU UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 28 4