SPSS Inc. v. Nie, No. 08 C 66, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Aug. 19, 2009) (Darrah, J.).*
Judge Darrah granted plaintiff SPSS’s motion to strike defendants’ jury demand on their counterclaim. Defendants’ claims for an injunction and destruction of items bearing the trademark were equitable and, therefore, not triable by a jury. And defendants’ claim for attorney’s fees is also not triable by a jury.
The remaining claims for an accounting of SPSS’s profits and a trebling of actual damages could be legal claims warranting a jury trial, but defendants had repeatedly characterized their claims as equitable unjust enrichment claims. And defendants could not claim actual damages from a breach of contract claim because the license that governed the parties’ relationships was royalty-free. Defendants’ counterclaims were, therefore, equitable and not triable to a jury.
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