AMAZING NEWS to report on the lawsuit Shire City brought against the herbalists Mary Blue, Nicole Telkes and Katheryn Langelier!!!! On May 12, 2016, the federal court in Massachusetts dismissed five out of the ten claims that Shire City had brought against the 3 defendants. The claims that were dismissed were all based on the three defendants’ participation in the movement to cancel Shire City’s “Fire Cider” trademark registration. Shire City had claimed that the 3 defendants’ activities had caused Shire City $100,000 in damages.
3 defendants had asked the court to dismiss these claims under the Massachusetts Anti-SLAPP statute, which prohibits lawsuits that are based upon constitutionally protected petitioning activities. The defendants submitted lots of evidence to support their motion, including the Free Fire Cider website and the Traditions Not Trademarks Facebook page. The court held a hearing in mid-April where attorneys for both Shire City and the defendants presented their arguments to the court. The three defendants are represented by Verrill Dana, LLP, a New England law firm. In the end, the court agreed with the three defendants and dismissed the five claims that were based on the defendants’ participation in the efforts to cancel Shire City’s trademark.
Although this is good news, the litigation is not over yet. Shire City has also brought claims against the three defendants for trademark infringement. The defendants did not seek dismissal of the trademark infringement claims under the Anti-SLAPP statute and so the lawsuit continues on those issues. These types of cases take a while to resolve and so it may be many months before we know what will happen to the rest of the lawsuit. Regardless, this decision was good news for Mary, Nicole and Katheryn!! Keep sending good thoughts their way over the next few months!