The legal dispute between Duke University and the estate of John Wayne, upon which we previously reported, has ended – for now. The two sides have argued for years over the naming of certain goods and services. Most recently, John Wayne’s estate sued Duke University in federal Court in California seeking a judgment declaring that it could use The Duke name to market its own brand of whiskey. The trial court dismissed the action for want of jurisdiction after examining the “effects test” factors, which turn on whether a defendant aimed its wrongful conduct at California, whether the harm was likely to be suffered in the state, et cetera. Judge Carter found that Duke University was aware of the Duke’s family’s presence in the state of California, but the Duke’s family was unable to show that Duke University intentionally directed its conduct at the state of California by filing oppositions to trademarks in the state of Virginia.
We doubt that we’ve seen the end of this dispute. As John Wayne himself once said, “[a]ll battles are fought by scared men who’d rather be someplace else.” This battle was no different.
(Hat Tip: Hollywood Reporter).