V.V.V. & SONS EDIBLE OILS LIMITED, a Public Limited Company, Plaintiff-Appellant,
MEENAKSHI OVERSEAS, LLC, a New Jersey Limited Liability Company, Defendant-Appellee
and Submitted December 4, 2019 San Francisco, California
from the United States District Court No.
2:14-cv-02961-TLN-CKD for the Eastern District of California
Troy L. Nunley, District Judge, Presiding
Kenneth C. Brooks (argued), Law Office of Kenneth C. Brooks,
Rocklin, California, for Plaintiff-Appellant.
M. Rannells (argued), Jason Lee DeFrancesco, and Pei-Lun
Chang, Baker & Rannells PA, Somerville, New Jersey, for
Before: Eugene E. Siler, [*] Jay S. Bybee, and Ryan D. Nelson,
/ Claim Preclusion
panel affirmed in part and reversed in part the district
court's dismissal of an action seeking damages and
injunctive relief for unfair competition, trademark dilution,
and trademark infringement as to three marks registered for
use with sesame seed oil.
had petitioned for cancellation of the marks before the
Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB"). TTAB
dismissed the petition as to the first mark based on claim
preclusion and allowed claims against the other two marks to
proceed. The district court dismissed plaintiffs' claims
as to the first mark based on claim preclusion and granted
defendant's unopposed motion to dismiss the remaining
as to the first mark, the panel held that an exception to
claim preclusion applied because an interparty proceeding
before the TTAB is a limited proceeding involving
registration of a trademark, and TTAB had no power to decide
plaintiff's claims of infringement, dilution, and unfair
competition or to grant either injunctive relief or damages.
The panel left it to the district court to consider, in the
first instance, whether issue preclusion applied. The panel
also reversed the district court's denial of leave to
amend the complaint to add a fraud claim as to the first
the dismissal of plaintiff's claims as to the second and
third marks, the panel held that plaintiff's
non-opposition to defendant's motion to dismiss waived
any challenge to the dismissal.
NELSON, Circuit Judge
V.V.V. & Sons Edible Oils ("VVV") appeals the
dismissal of its trademark claims based on three marks and
the denial of leave to amend its Complaint. Because we
disagree that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board
("TTAB") judgment should be given claim preclusive
effect, we reverse the district court's dismissal of
VVV's claims as to the first mark, as well as the denial
of leave to amend. ...