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Case No. 18-0730

Reiff Funeral Homes, Inc.
Robert B. Reiff d/b/a Reiff Funeral Home and Crematory


Reiff Funeral Homes, Inc.


Robert B. Reiff d/b/a Reiff Funeral Home and Crematory

Attorney for the Appellee

Darin S. Harmon

Attorney for the Appellant

Erich D. Priebe and James H. Cook

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Mar 06, 2019

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Monica Zrinyi Wittig, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Vogel, C.J., Vaitheswaran J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Gamble, S.J.  (19 pages)

            Robert (Bobby) Reiff, doing business as Reiff Funeral Home and Crematory, appeals from an adverse judgment entered in favor of Reiff Funeral Homes, Inc. and its principal Joseph (Joe) Reiff in this common law trademark infringement suit.  Bobby asserts the district court erred in concluding “Reiff Funeral Home” has a secondary meaning entitled to trademark protections and the plaintiff’s case should be dismissed on the basis of laches.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude Joe proved he had a valid trademark in the name of Reiff Funeral Home and Bobby infringed on that trademark.  Joe’s trademark infringement claim ripened when Bobby used the internet to enter Joe’s market. Bobby failed to prove his equitable defense of laches.

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