U.S. Court of Appeals Affirms Trademark Case

Guitar Center sells musical instruments. It created a new brand of woodwind and brass instruments produced by Eastman known as “Ventus.”

Barrington owns the trademark “Vento,” which is used in relation to instruments it sells.  Barrington began using its mark in commerce in 2009 and achieved gross sales just under $700,000. Barrington filed for registration of its “Vento” mark in January 2010. In March 2011, Guitar Center began selling instruments using the “Ventus” mark, with gross sales totaling about $5 million.

Barrington filed suit against Eastman, Music & Arts, Guitar Center and Woodwind.

A federal district court jury found that only Guitar Center’s sales infringed and awarded Barrington the total amount of Guitar Center’s sales – $3,228.

Barrington later discovered that Music & Arts and Woodwind were divisions of Guitar Center. Barrington moved the court to amend the damages award to $4,947,200, the total sales for the “Ventus” mark by all of the Guitar Center owned stores.

The district court denied the Rule 59(e) motion. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Barrington gave no reason to conclude that the jury’s verdict would be different if it were aware Music & Arts and Woodwind were merely divisions of Guitar Center; it found Music & Arts and Woodwind had not infringed on the “Ventus” mark and there was no basis to award Barrington their “Ventus” related sales.

Barrington Music Products, Inc. v. Music & Arts Center, No .18-2947 (7th Cir. 2019).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling commercial litigation lawsuits, property right disputes, breach of contracts lawsuits and state and federal jury trials for individuals, families and businesses for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Barrington, South Holland, Mundelein, New Lenox, Lynwood, Lansing, Worth, Alsip, Glenview, Northfield, Rolling Meadows, Hoffman Estates, Chicago (Greek Town, West Town, Austin, Gresham, Lake Calumet, Hegewisch, South Shore, Wicker Park, Albany Park, Andersonville, Bronzeville, Old Town Triangle), Flossmoor, Inverness, Naperville and Deerfield, Ill.

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