United States Seventh Circuit

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Sunstar, Inc. v. Alberto-Culver Co., 07-3288

In a trademark infringement case involving interpretation of a trademark licensing agreement of defendant's "VO5" trademark and Japanese trademark law, district court's judgment in favor of the defendant, and orders enjoining plaintiff from using the variant mark and terminating the licensing agreement to return all the licensed trademarks to the defendant is vacated and remanded as under Japanese trademark law, the term senyoshiyoken, which the district judge refused to give the meaning of to the jury, means exclusive-use right where the license holder not only has an exclusive right to use the licensed trademarks within the geographical scope of the licensed trademarks but can sue infringers of the trademarks in its own name.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 10/28/2009
  • Published 10/28/2009


  • POSNER, Circuit Judge., Before POSNER, MANION, and EVANS, Circuit Judges.


  • United States Seventh Circuit


  • For Appellees:
  • Philip S. Beck, Bartlit, Beck, Herman, Palenchar & Scott, Chicago, IL, Timothy Patula, Patula & Associates, Chicago, IL, Robert A Schwinger, Chadbourne & Parke, New York NY, Bryan W. Leach (argued), Bartlit, Beck, Herman, Palenchar & Scott, Denver, CO, for Plaintiff-Appellant, Defendant-Appellant/Cross-Appellee., Craig S. Fochler (argued), Charles R. Mandly, Jr., Foley & Lardner, LLP, Ashok M. Pinto, Foley & Lardner, LLP, Chicago, IL, John Bostjancich, Smart & Bostjancich, Chicago, IL, for Defendant-Appellee, Plaintiff-Appellee/Cross-Appellant.
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