Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Romag Fasteners, Inc. in Closely Watched Trademark Case

April 2020

On April 23, 2020, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of Williams & Connolly client Romag Fasteners, Inc., scoring the second win of the week for the Williams & Connolly Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation team.  In Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil, Inc., the Supreme Court addressed the question of whether a trademark owner must prove that the defendant’s infringement was willful in order to recover profits as a remedy.  Our client, Romag Fasteners, a small, family-owned business that manufactures magnetic snaps for handbags, alleged that handbags sold by defendant Fossil, Inc. contained counterfeit Romag snaps.  The jury found that Fossil acted with "callous disregard" for Romag’s rights but that its infringement was not "willful."  Applying circuit authority requiring "willfulness" to obtain profits, the lower courts denied Romag any profits remedy.

In 2019, the Supreme Court granted Williams & Connolly’s petition for certiorari, and Lisa Blatt presented oral argument on January 14, 2020.  Today, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Romag’s favor, holding that a plaintiff in a trademark infringement suit is not required to show that a defendant willfully infringed the plaintiff's trademark as a precondition to a profits award.  

The Williams & Connolly team representing Romag Fasteners, Inc. included Lisa Blatt, Amy Saharia, Joshua Podoll, and Kaitlin Beach.

Click here to read coverage by Law360.  The win was also featured at the top of Law360's "Legal Lions" list.
Click here to read the United States Supreme Court opinion.
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