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Irwin IP Secures Summary Judgment of Trademark Infringement for Client Oasis Legal Finance Operating Company, LLC

Irwin IP is pleased to announce that on April 15, 2020, Honorable Judge Gettleman granted summary judgment in favor of firm client Oasis Legal Finance Operating Company, LLC (“Oasis”), and against Oasis’s former CEO Gary Chodes, his business associate, and his personally-held entities (collectively, “Chodes”), on multiple counts of trademark infringement and unfair competition. 

This victory is a follow up to the Court’s February 8, 2018 Order granting Irwin IP’s motion for partial summary judgment that Oasis, and not Mr. Chodes or his entities, owns the Oasis trademarks.   Despite that early, partial victory, Chodes argued his use of the Oasis marks was non-infringing and that Oasis’s claims were barred by numerous affirmative defenses.  In its recent order, however, the Court explained that no reasonable jury could say defendants had not infringed the Oasis trademarks by founding or helping to found companies called “Oasis Legal Finance Group” and “Oasis Disability Group.”  The Court also held that none of the defendants’ 20 affirmative defenses could stand.  The issue of appropriate remedy remains to be decided.  Oasis intends to seek statutory damages, a permanent injunction, and attorneys’ fees.

Oasis provides litigation funding, a form of specialty finance in which an entity, such as Oasis, provides money to plaintiffs involved in litigation in exchange for an interest in any future recovery received by the plaintiff.  Oasis arguably is the most well-known brand nationwide for legal funding, having invested millions of dollars every year to promote its Oasis brand. 

Lisa Holubar and Adam Reis were primarily responsible for drafting the summary judgment briefs.  The Court ruled on the papers without hearing. 

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