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Cloud storage company Thru Inc has filed an appeal against Dropbox at the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, following an earlier trademark ruling.

The appeal, which was filed (pdf) on Thursday, March 23, follows a ruling in favour of file-hosting service Dropboxthat granted the company’s motion for summary judgment.

Judge Edward Chen at the US District Court for the Northern District Court of California made the ruling in November last year that Thru’s counterclaims for trademark infringement were barred by laches.

Those counterclaims followed Dropbox’s attempt to establish rights in its name.

According to Dropbox’s earlier argument, it had applied to trademark the term ‘Dropbox’at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2009.

The mark was granted in 2014 and covers online non-downloadable software.

Three claimants then initiated opposition proceedings before the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, each claiming superior rights to the ‘Dropbox’mark. Thru was not one of these claimants.

According to Dropbox, each of these trademark oppositions was ultimately terminated.

Since 2002, Thru has offered a file management software program called File Transaction Hub.

The business added a feature called DropBox, which allows customers to receive digital files from third parties, in 2004.

In 2011, Thru applied to register the term ‘DropBox’at the USPTO.

According to the order, Thru “took no action”to enforce any trademark rights for the term ‘DropBox’until December 2011, when the business’scounsel asserted that it had used the term “continuously”since 2004.

Thru filed a petition for cancellation when the USPTO issued Dropbox’s trademark registration.

In April 2015 Dropbox sued Thru, which then filed counterclaims for trademark infringement and unfair competition.

The Ninth Circuit is due to hear Thru’s opening brief on June 30.  


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