Markel should defend the liquid vitality shotgun | Enterprise insurance – business insurance

A unit of Markel Corp. must defend a company that makes liquid energy syringes in a trademark infringement lawsuit, a federal appeals court said Wednesday to overturn a lower court ruling.

Vitamin Energy LLC, headquartered in Glen Mills, Pa., Was sued by a competitor, the owners of the 5-hour Energy brand, for claims under the Lanham Act for trademark infringement, misplaced designation of origin, false advertising, and trademark dilution, and Michigan law, im In connection with its commercialization, according to the judgment of the 3rd US Court of Appeals in Philadelphia on Wednesday in the Vitamin Energy, LLC v Evanston Insurance Co.

Vitamin Energy's insurer, Markel Unit Evanston Insurance Co., refused to defend the company on the grounds that the complaint did not allege advertising or other damage covered by the policy, and that in that case, insurance exclusions would apply.

The US District Court in Philadelphia granted Evanston's motion to dismiss, but was overturned by a unanimous three-judge appeals court.

Under Pennsylvania law, an insurer's duty of defense is broader than its duty to indemnify, the appellate court's decision said.

The disagreement in the case “is whether the 5-hour Energy complaint alleges that Vitamin Energy's comparative advertising is a false or misleading statement about 5-hour Energy products or just a falsehood about Vitamin Energy's own products Energy contains ”, with Vitamin Energy arguing the former. said the verdict.

Vitamin Energy "has the upper hand in this dispute," said the ruling.

“If you interpret them generously in favor of coverage”, the claims in the 5-hour energy complaint “are best read in such a way that not only Vitamin Energy's own products contain 100% of the recommended daily value of vitamin B, but Also, that the 5-Hour Energy "products are not," it says, Evanston was obliged to defend Vitamin Energy and dismiss the case for further action.

Lawyers in the case were either unavailable or did not respond to requests for comment.

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