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MCC Wins Fees in Federal Appeal

June 6, 2018

Meunier Carlin & Curfman LLC (“MCC”) successfully defended Utility Associates, Inc. (“Utility”) in a multi claim action for antitrust, false advertising and patent infringement allegations brought by Digital Ally Inc. (“Digital Ally”). Digital Ally’s claims included monopolization and/or attempted monopolization, bad faith assertion of patent infringement, false advertising, tortious interference, defamation/libel/product disparagement, and trade secret misappropriation. Summary judgment was granted in favor of Utility on all claims by the United States District Court for the District of Kansas in May of 2017. Digital Ally appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which both sustained the District Court’s summary judgment in Utility’s favor and awarded a portion of its incurred legal fees to Utility as a sanction. An award of fees in an appeal is believed to be a rare occurrence. MCC’s litigation team was pleased to achieve favorable outcomes in difficult circumstances for Utility.

The complaint arose from Utility’s sales efforts that referenced its U.S. Patent No. 6,831,556, entitled “Composite Mobile Digital Information System.” In response, in 2013, Digital Ally first filed a declaratory judgment action asserting claims of non-infringement. Utility successfully moved to dismiss that action, and the decision was sustained on appeal. Digital Ally then filed a second action regarding the additional claims.  Once again, Utility was successful in defending against Digital Ally’s claims. 

“Our client and legal team succeeded in this strongly contested case,” said Steve Schaetzel, lead attorney on the matter. “This speaks to our team’s dedication to the client and the strength of our firm’s litigation expertise. This was a long and challenging matter.”

In addition to Steve, Utility was represented by litigation partners John Harbin and David Moreland, and associates Trey Levie, Sarah Kessler and Ashley Klein.

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