Walmart Inc. has asked a panel of judges to reduce a $95.5 million award the company was ordered in 2019 to pay to a smaller retailer in a trademark infringement suit.
Variety Stores Inc.’s suit, filed in federal court in 2014, argued that Walmart’s Backyard Grill + Design trademark was likely to be confused with the North Carolina-based company’s Backyard and Backyard BBQ trademark.
Walmart attorneys on Wednesday told judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that the jury that awarded the damages to the plaintiff was not properly instructed by a lower court.
Attorney Mark Puzella said the jury was not told the legal definition of willfulness, or intention to infringe on another company’s trademark. Walmart is asking for another jury trial in the case despite three previous trials and now two appeals.
Thad Adams III, an attorney for Variety, said proof of willfulness isn’t required under the law for rewards or damages.
Wednesday’s oral arguments were held remotely via a teleconferencing platform.
The case is Variety Stores Inc. v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.