Assoc. Bus. Process Mngmt. Profs. Int’l. v. Brainstorm Group, Inc., No. 13 C 6213, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Aug. 24, 2015) (Gilbert, Mag. J.).
Judge Gilbert granted in part plaintiff ABPM’s motion to enforce the parties’ settlement agreement in this trademark dispute. Defendant Brainstorm Group agreed not to use the term “CBPMP” subject to only limited exceptions. While Brainstorm had removed the term from its copy on its website, it had not removed the term from presenter’s bios listed on the site. The Court held that, even though the presenters may have written their own bios, Brainstorm retained control over the content on its website and must remove CBPMP anywhere on its site.
The Court, however, denied the motion to the extent it sought to enjoin the use of terms not explicitly prohibited by the parties’ agreement. The agreement only enjoined Brainstorm’s use of the acronym CBPMP. The Court reasoned that settlement agreements do not have a penumbra of rights, like the Constitution is said to have. Instead, agreements are limited to their terms. Because the parties’ agreement was silent as to expanded forms of the restricted acronym, Brainstorm was free to use the phrases “Certified BPMP” and “Certified Business Process Management Professional.” Had ABPM intended to prevent Brainstorm’s use of these expanded terms, it should have set that out in the agreement.
Finally, because ABPM was the prevailing party as to Brainstorm’s three website uses of CBPMP, the agreement grants ABPM its fees and costs in bringing the action. So, to the extent that ABPM can separate its fees and costs for those three instances, it can seek them. The Court also reminded the parties to follow the Local Rule 54.3 procedure for exchanging information and conferring before filing a petition for fees.