November 16, 2020

With the help of Pirkey Barber PLLC Member Travis Wimberly, the legal team defending an Austin-based food distributor defeated a preliminary injunction motion brought by a plaintiff seeking to prevent it from selling the Skinny Pasta brand of gluten-free noodles.

The Oct. 27 decision by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas highlights the exceptional value Pirkey Barber brings to legal teams representing clients in business disputes that involve intellectual property issues — including those that cross international borders.

McGinnis Lochridge, another Austin-based law firm, is representing SP Global Inc. and founder José B. Sena in this case. The plaintiffs, Israel-based SP International Ltd. and one of its founders, Gilad Ivgi, claimed SP Global and Sena claimed SP Global and Sena infringed upon the Skinny Pasta trademark by selling Skinny Pasta products, following the last-minute dissolution of a deal for SP Global to purchase the Skinny Pasta business from SP International. The defendants successfully contended SP Global was simply reselling the limited supply of genuine Skinny Pasta products it ordered in anticipation of completing that business transaction.

At the preliminary injunction hearing, Travis presented opening and closing arguments on behalf of SP Global and Sena. McGinnis Lochridge brought Travis onto the defense team because of his strong trademark litigation experience. “One of the things that we were able to successfully challenge was the registration of the mark,” said McGinnis Lochridge Partner Michael Kabat. “Travis was an integral part of that argument, and ultimately the court found that we were able to raise ‘serious doubts’ about the validity of the trademark registration — an essential element to the plaintiffs’ claims.”

Others have commented on the benefit of Travis’s extensive trademark litigation experience. As one client told the World Trademark Review for its WTR 1000 ranking in 2020, Travis “crafts highly effective arguments and delivers them skillfully orally and in writing.”

Skinny Pasta International et al. v. SP Global et al. is currently pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas under case number 1:20-CV-669-RP. Skinny Pasta International Ltd. and Gilad Ivgi are represented by Efrem Schwalb and Gary Serbin of Koffsky Schwalb LLC.