Case against Tom Scholz enters fee award stage
December 15, 2016 – Firm partner David Given, who led the effort in a Boston federal court last month to defeat the trademark infringement claims of BOSTON multi-hyphenate Tom Scholz against his former bandmate and friend, Barry Goudreau, for using the word mark “Boston” to describe his former affiliation with the band, today filed papers in that same court seeking recovery from Scholz of over $800,000 in defense costs and fees incurred by Goudreau in the case. Those papers rely upon a 2014 Supreme Court opinion which clarified the applicable standard for such an award in cases arising under a provision of the federal Patent Act identical to the federal Lanham Act, under which Scholz brought his infringement claims. Goudreau supported his request for fees with evidence the federal jury did not hear, including Scholz’s litigation history, and aimed to show that Scholz brought a weak to non-existent Lanham Act case against Goudreau for reasons having nothing to do with protecting his “Boston” mark but rather to suppress speech about the circumstances of singer Brad Delp’s suicide. Reporting in the Boston Herald (which Scholz also sued in another unsuccessful state court case) suggested that Delp’s “dysfunctional professional life” with Scholz may have led to his untimely death. Further proceedings in the matter are pending.