Stephen S. Wu-- SL: Legal Writer,, (408) 573-5737, 50 W. San Fernando St., Ste. 750, San Jose, CA 95113

Judge Enters Preliminary Injunction in the Minsky Second Life Trademark Infringement Case

Last week, Judge Lawrence E. Kahn signed a stipulated preliminary injunction in the Second Life trademark infringement case brought by Richard Minsky against Linden Research. Under the stipulated order, the Court converted the temporary restraining order (TRO) in place in the case to a preliminary injunction. The defendants in the case are Linden Research, two of its principals, and an anonymous avatar named Victor Vezina. Mr. Minsky’s suit claims infringement of his federally registered trademark SLART. The purpose of a preliminary injunction is to hold the status quo in place during the pendency of a case. The preliminary injunction will likely remain in effect until the case is resolved.
The parties will likely now turn their efforts to gathering evidence they will need to prepare for trial and/or summary judgment. During this process of “discovery,” each party will send to the other party requests to disclose paper documents and electronically stored information relevant to his or its case. The parties may also seek answers to written questions, which must be answered by the other party under oath. Finally, each party will likely schedule “depositions” of the other parties or other witnesses. At a deposition, a party can ask another person to testify in person, under oath, in front of a court reporter.

This past week, Richard Minsky also filed a document responding to Linden Research’s counterclaims. In that document, Mr. Minsky denied all of the important allegations in Linden Research’s counterclaims. One of the interesting parts of the Answer to Counterclaims is Mr. Minsky’s contention that Linden Research has no rights in the mark SL. He writes in paragraph 60 of his Answer to Counterclaims, “I dispute that Linden has any enforceable rights in SL as a mark. SL is a generic descriptive term that is widely used as applied to Second Life, is a trademark used by many businesses inside and outside Second Life, and is also a registered trademark owned by many others for various goods and services.”

Copies of the most recent filings in the Minsky case appear on the Minsky v. Linden Research documents page.