Cindy actively partners with business clients, working to develop and protect their trademarks, copyrights and other rights.
She appears regularly in the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and in federal courts around the country. She has been lead counsel in trademark and copyright infringement cases, contract disputes, unfair competition claims and construction arbitration cases. She has appeared numerous times in the state courts of Minnesota, including arguing in the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the Minnesota Supreme Court. She also regularly appears in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. In addition, she has argued appeals in the United States Courts of Appeal for the Sixth and Eighth Circuits, and appeared in federal courts in Arkansas, California, Iowa, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
She has held a number of leadership positions in the firm, currently serving as Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. She is also past Chair of the firm’s Associate Development Committee.
In addition to her practice, Cindy is active in the Twin Cities pro bono community. She serves on the Board of the Fund for the Legal Aid Society and previously served on the Children’s Law Center Board. She has previously served as President of the Boards of Volunteer Lawyers Network and the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis.
IP Litigation/Business Litigation
- Multiple representations of trademark owners in litigated and negotiated matters throughout the country.
- Multiple representations of electrical substation contractor in litigated matters in state and federal courts.
- Multiple representations of pipeline owner in litigated and negotiated matters, including achieving a multi-million dollar settlement after one-week AAA arbitration in pipeline engineering design malpractice case.
- Handled all aspects of trademark opposition proceedings before the TTAB.
- Won dismissal of copyright infringement case involving development of computer software program (W.D.Pa.).
- Defeated motion for TRO (temporary restraining order) brought against shareholders of a closely-held corporation seeking to stop a reverse-triangular merger, resulting in a favorable settlement (D.Minn.).
- Successfully settled commercial breach of contract case involving allegations of copyright infringement and work-for-hire doctrine (D.S.D.).
- Successfully represented parent corporation against claims of piercing-the-corporate veil and breach of fiduciary duty brought by trade creditors of subsidiary.
- Defeated motion for preliminary injunction in federal court, preventing competitor from obtaining valuable client information (D.S.C.).
- Successfully argued motion obtaining preliminary injunction on claims of copyright infringement and trademark infringement against former officer, director and shareholder of closely-held corporation (D.Minn.).
- Won multiple settlements for architect/builder client in copyright infringement litigation.
- Achieved court order to shut down website misdirecting Internet traffic to competitor’s website through “typo-squatting.”
- Defended international publisher in multiple copyright infringement lawsuits and achieved favorable settlements.
Articles & Presentations
February 3, 2017
Does your trademark registration identify multiple goods or services in a single class? If so, you could be subject to a random audit to make sure you are using your mark with all the goods and services claimed.Read More
April 18, 2016
Important changes in the regulations governing European Union Community Trademarks (formerly CTMs, now called EUTMs) may affect the scope of your trademark protection for CTM applications filed before June 22, 2012.Read More
100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall (All with the Same Name) – What’s Wrong with Co-Existence Agreements?
March 1, 2016
Are co-existence agreements no longer a surefire strategy for getting a trademark registration in the face of a likelihood of confusion refusal? That could be the takeaway from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB) recent decision in which it held that a co-existence agreement was insufficient to overcome a refusal based on likelihood of confusion. In re Bay State Brewing Co., Inc., Serial No. 85826258 (Feb. 25, 2016).Read More
February 10, 2016
In a precedential decision issued by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), the TTAB affirmed the examining attorney’s refusal to register SMART SERIES because the mark was merely descriptive. In re Cannon Safe, Inc., Serial No. 85651960 (TTAB Sept. 24, 2015). This raises two questions: how is SMART SERIES descriptive? And, what is wrong with being descriptive?Read More
February 2, 2016
A recent decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board serves as a good reminder that the title of a single work cannot be a trademark. Independent Media Corporation (PVT) Ltd. v. BOL Enterprise (PVT) Ltd., decided January 14, 2016.Read More
January 22, 2016
In Hollywood Casino LLC v. Chateau Celeste, Inc., Opposition No. 91203686 (December 14, 2015), Applicant Chateau Celeste filed a trademark application to register the mark Hollywood Hotel. A problem arose, however, when Applicant’s President and CEO testified in a deposition that the Applicant was only a licensee – not the owner – of the mark. The Opposer, Hollywood Casino, seized on this testimony and moved for summary judgment, saying the Applicant could not apply to register a mark it did not actually own.Read More
March 26, 2015
In a decision released March 24, 2015, the Supreme Court held that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB) determination of likelihood of confusion in an opposition proceeding can bind federal courts in trademark infringement litigation. The case is B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc., ___ U.S. ___ (No. 13-352 March 24, 2015).Read More
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
- Author, “Lessons in Pleading Marks, and Related Entities Can Own a Family of Marks,” INTA Bulletin, Vol. 72, No. 1, January 2017
- Presenter, “Advertising Hot Spots Swirling Around Online Sales,” MCLE Webinar, August 2016
- Author, “USPTO Issues Guidance on Compliance with Section 2(a) Provisions,” INTA Bulletin, Vol. 71, No. 10, June 2016
- Author, “Only Issue in Dismissal Motion Is Sufficiency of the Pleading at Issue,” INTA Bulletin, Vol. 71, No. 6, April 2016
- Presenter, “Advertising Hotspots Swirling Around Online Sales,” MCLE Live Seminar, March 2016
- Presenter, “You Love it, You Hate it. Now you Have to Live With it,” William Mitchell College of Law e-Discovery Conference, October 4, 2013
- Co-author, “Spoliation of Electronic Evidence: A Judicial Boiling Point?,” Pretrial Practice & Discovery, Volume 18, Number 4, Summer 2010, American Bar Association
- Author, “Off-Label Use and the Medical Negligence Standard Under Minnesota Law,” 31 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 927 (2005)
Honors & Education
- Harvard Law School, J.D.
- University of Minnesota, B.S., Economics, summa cum laude
- U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Minnesota State Bar Association, North Star Lawyer, 2013, 2015
- International Trademark Association (INTA), Bulletins Committee
- American Bar Association, Business Law Section, Intellectual Property Law Section, Litigation Section
- Minnesota State Bar Association, Bankruptcy Section
- Hennepin County Bar Association, Civil Litigation Section
- Turnaround Management Association, Minnesota Chapter, Board Member
- International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation (“IWIRC”), Minnesota Chapter, Board Member
- Founder, Minnesota E-Discovery Working Group
- Board Member, Fund for the Legal Society of Minneapolis
- Former Board Member and Former Chair, Hennepin County Volunteer Lawyers Network
- Former Board Member and Past President, Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis
- Former Board Member, Children’s Law Center of Minnesota