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State Bar resolves logo dispute with LexisNexis

By: Jack Zemlicka, [email protected]//December 8, 2011//

State Bar resolves logo dispute with LexisNexis

By: Jack Zemlicka, [email protected]//December 8, 2011//

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The State Bar of Wisconsin has withdrawn its federal trademark infringement lawsuit against LexisNexis.

Attorney James Peterson of Godfrey & Kahn SC filed a voluntarily dismissal request Nov. 29 with the Federal District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin in Madison. The court granted the request and the case was closed Nov. 30.

Bar leaders declined to disclose the reason for the voluntary dismissal, but at the group’s Board of Governors meeting Friday, Executive Director George Brown said a settlement was reached in the case.

“After review by our presidents, I signed the settlement agreement,” Brown told the board. “We got what we wanted.”

Peterson did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment and State Bar spokesperson Tom Solberg said the organization had no further comment on the terms of the settlement.

LexisNexis, a global legal service provider, was targeted for trademark infringement in the suit filed Aug. 19 because of its use of use of a pillar logo on its website Lawyers.com. The State Bar features a similar logo on its website.

Both websites showcase lawyer search tools, substantive articles about the law and outlets to find attorneys in a variety of practice areas.

The State Bar filed a patent application for its logo in February 2010. It began using the pillar logo as early as June 1, 2010, according to the complaint.

The complaint alleged LexisNexis declined to remove its similar logo after being contacted by the State Bar. It also alleges LexisNexis conducted no search for potentially conflicting marks before it adopted its pillar mark.

As of Dec. 8, the homepage of Lawyers.com still featured the same pillar logo cited in the complaint.

LexisNexis attorney Steven Wildfeuer did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

According to the complaint filed in the suit, the State Bar sought an injunction prohibiting LexisNexis from any further use of its infringing pillar mark, or any other mark that is confusingly similar to the pillar icon.

In addition, the bar sought attorney costs and “any further relief to the State Bar as this court may deem appropriate.”

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