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American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc. v. Johnson-Powell

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
129 F.3d 1 (1997)


Facts

The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc. (Board) (plaintiff) certified psychiatrists and neurologists. Once certified, doctors were allowed to use the Board’s certification mark. Dr. Gloria Johnson-Powell (defendant) was not certified by the Board, but she claimed on several occasions to be certified while testifying under oath. Johnson-Powell also used the Board’s certification mark on her resume. The Board sued Johnson-Powell for infringement of its certification mark and sought a preliminary injunction. At the preliminary-injunction hearing, Johnson-Powell presented an affidavit in which she promised to cease any infringement and claimed that she had ceased providing expert testimony. Johnson-Powell also provided a copy of an updated resume on which she had removed the Board’s mark. The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts denied the Board’s motion for a preliminary injunction. The district court held the Board was likely to prevail on the merits but did not demonstrate a strong likelihood of irreparable harm in the future. The district court reasoned that Johnson-Powell was not likely to continue any further infringement. The Board appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Campbell, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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