UK Ukulele Maker Seeks Escape From SpongeBob IP Suit

Law360, Los Angeles (September 23, 2013, 4:59 PM EDT) -- A U.K. musical instrument maker on Monday urged a California federal judge to toss claims that a ukulele featuring cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants infringed Gibson Guitar Corp.'s "Flying V" trademark, saying Gibson had not shown there were any U.S. sales of the product.

Gibson had not stated a Lanham Act claim, John Hornby Skewes & Co. Ltd. argued, in part because any alleged trademark infringement occurred entirely outside of the U.S. JHS designed and manufactured the V-shaped SpongeBob ukulele under a license from Viacom International Inc.,...
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