Comedy Club v. Improv West Associates

553 F.3d 1277 (2009)

From our private database of 46,000+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Comedy Club v. Improv West Associates

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
553 F.3d 1277 (2009)

  • Written by Alexander Hager-DeMyer, JD

Facts

Comedy Club, Inc. (Comedy) (plaintiff) executed a trademark license agreement with Improv West Associates (Improv) (defendant), granting Comedy an exclusive nationwide license to use Improv’s trademarks in opening new clubs. The trademark agreement provided that Comedy was prohibited from opening any non-Improv clubs during the agreement’s term and that it would open a certain number of new Improv clubs each year. The agreement also contained an arbitration clause stating that all disputes related to the agreement would be arbitrated. Comedy failed to open the requisite number of clubs, and Improv pulled its trademark from Comedy, opting to open its own Improv clubs. In response, Comedy filed a complaint in federal district court, seeking a declaration that the trademark agreement’s prohibition on opening non-Improv clubs was void under the California Business and Professions Code (CBPC), among other claims. The district court ordered the parties into arbitration. The arbitrator issued an award stating, among other findings, that the agreement’s bar on Comedy’s opening of new, non-Improv clubs was a valid and enforceable covenant to not compete. The district court affirmed the award, and Comedy appealed to the Ninth Circuit. The Ninth Circuit ruled on several different claims and, regarding the bar, found that the arbitrator’s enforcement of the noncompete covenant was a manifest disregard of the law. The case was appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which remanded back to the Ninth Circuit on the issue of the noncompete covenant in light of recent caselaw. The Ninth Circuit reasserted its rulings on the other claims and addressed its previous finding of the arbitrator’s manifest disregard of the law.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gould, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 742,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 46,000 briefs, keyed to 986 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 46,000 briefs - keyed to 986 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership