Daily Business Review: Margaritaville Brand Fight Over Rights in Bahamas

The Daily Business Review shares the details about Kluger Kaplan’s Todd Levine’s latest intellectual property case.  

Margaritaville Brand Fight Over Rights in Bahamas

October 20, 2018

Restaurant operator Boss Investments claims the Margaritaville company is breaking a licensing agreement by allowing a different developer to use the name in the Bahamas for a resort.

Margaritaville — both a name and a laidback feel at tourist venues from New York to Costa Rica derived from Jimmy Buffett’s 1977 hit song — is accused of breaching an agreement for the exclusive use of the trademark in the Bahamas.

Kluger Kaplan Commercial Litigation

Boss Investments Ltd. claims it has the exclusive rights to develop and run venues under the Margaritaville trademark, which includes the name, Buffett images and song lyrics, and associated merchandise under a 2014 agreement.

Boss opened a restaurant, store and bar with live entertainment on Paradise Island, but its plans and partnership with Margaritaville went awry when it wanted to open a second, similar venue.

Boss said Palm Beach-based Margaritaville Holdings LLC; its intellectual property licensor, Margaritaville Enterprises LLC; and the IP sublicensor that signed the Bahamas trademark agreement with Boss, Margaritaville of Bahamas LLC, didn’t hold up their end of the deal.

Instead, they awarded a Margaritaville trademark for the development of another tourist destination on Paradise Island — a $250 million, 150-room resort on 6 acres with a spa, luxury condominiums, an 800-space garage, marina, restaurant and water park, according to Boss’ lawsuit filed Friday in Palm Beach Circuit Court.

Boss sued all three Margaritaville LLCs as well as Margaritaville Development president James Wiseman.

Margaritaville declined comment through a spokeswoman.

Boss said the new Bahamian resort will rise two miles from its existing venue and Margaritaville has discouraged Boss from moving ahead with a second venue at a promising location.

Boss, which opened its first restaurant in the Bahamas in 2015, has the right to open a second Bahamas venue within five years after the first location was open for a year, according to the complaint.

After Boss met with a Margaritaville representative in spring 2017 to show a prospective second location at the Port of Nassau, a busy cruise ship port, Wiseman called Boss to suggest a ” ‘slow play’ moving forward with the proposed location … because Margaritaville had ‘something better in that area for Boss,’ ” the lawsuit alleges.

This turned out to be a stalling tactic so Margaritaville could license its trademark to the resort developer, Boss’s attorneys, Todd Levine and Adam Steinberg, argue in the complaint.

Levine is a founding member and partner at Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine in Miami, and Steinberg is a partner with The Law Offices of Adam J. Steinberg in Fort Lauderdale.

Wiseman and Boss representatives had a good working relationship, and Boss believed Wiseman was going to help with a second location, according to the complaint…

Continue reading in the Daily Business Review

The Real Deal: JMH Development must turn over remaining interest in 300 Collins: judge

The Real Deal features Kluger Kaplan’s recent win on behalf of PSB Collins LLC.  

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A judge has ordered Jason Halpern’s JMH Development to turn over its remaining interest in Three Hundred Collins to its silent partner, amid ongoing litigation.

The five-story, 19-unit boutique condo at 300 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood was completed this summer, and has just one unsold unit remaining: Penthouse 2 priced at $5.3 million. JMH must turn over that unit and any cash in the bank to its partner PSB Collins LLC, led by Dhruv Piplani, according to an order signed by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge William Thomas.

Piplani’s attorney Marko Cerenko said Piplani’s entity is also entitled to the cash proceeds of the $1.6 million sale of unit 3-A, which was purchased just before the lawsuit went to trial last week. The value of the total owed to Piplani’s entity is estimated at $6 million to $7 million, said Cerenko, a partner at Miami-based Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine…

Continue reading in The Real Deal. 

Three Questions with Todd Levine

Todd LevineTodd A. Levine is a Founding Member at Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen and Levine. A highly experienced commercial litigator, Todd handles virtually all types of complex business disputes. His practice includes a strong focus on commercial real estate litigation, and he regularly represents real estate brokers, developers, lending institutions, buyers and sellers, investors, property managers, owners, contractors and subcontractors in disputes arising out of commercial real estate projects and transactions.

We recently sat down with Todd to discuss the changes in litigation over the last decade, the degree to which technology is shaping the practice and how his musical talents shape his everyday life.

We recently marked the 10-year anniversary of the financial crash on 2008 marking the beginning of the Great Recession. How has complex commercial litigation evolved over that time?

Whether the economy is in a recession or is exploding with growth, business disputes will always arise. The biggest difference between the litigation we see today and what we saw ten years ago is the type of disputes. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, we saw a lot of litigation over distressed assets, with individuals fighting for what was left over from the crash. In today’s more robust economy, we are seeing more ownership disputes as individuals seek a greater share of the profits.

There is a consistent buzz about how technology has and will continue to transform the legal profession. How has technology impacted your practice and where do you see it moving forward?

Over the last 20 years technology has improved our lawyers’ efficiency and productivity, allowing us to enhance our client service and more effectively analyze cases. The technology resources we use allow our litigators to find relevant case law in state, federal and international court, enabling us to more efficiently locate and discern necessary legal precedent. We also use tools that allow attorneys to better manage a large amount of document-based evidence, by creating a searchable database. Before these tools were available, it took litigators weeks or even months to go through the relevant case law, statutes and numerous documents in a case. Further, the attorney might have been only able to view a document once or twice before going to trial. Our lawyers can now comb through documents more efficiently and have more intimate knowledge of their contents.

However, while technology has streamlined the legal research and discovery process, artificial intelligence isn’t going to be a replacement for the trial attorney. Litigants still need to rely on the experience and expertise of their attorneys. For instance, a jury of human peers are not going to listen to two computers argue with each other about whose side makes more sense.

The Daily Business Review recently ran a profile on you about how your musical talents shaped your legal career. How has being an avid musician shaped your life in and out of the courtroom?

I’ve played the guitar since I was 10-years-old, along with playing some keyboard. Coupled with my analytical skills, my musical background has allowed me to tap into my creative side for clients and develop out-of-the-box approaches to solving complex problems. In my personal life, I have been fortunate to share my enthusiasm with my sons, who are both talented musicians and play guitar, bass and piano, and produce their own original compositions

KKSL Welcomes New Associate, Mayda Nahhas

The KKSKL team is proud to announce the addition of Mayda Nahhas to our business litigation practice. Read more below about Mayda and the experience she brings to the firm and its clients.

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 9.08.19 PMMayda earned her Juris Doctorate degree from Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad College of Law, where she was consistently in the top 3% of her class, made the Dean’s List every semester and graduated Summa Cum Laude. While in law school, Mayda received a concentration in intellectual property, technology and cybersecurity law, served as Goodwin Alumni Editor of the Nova Law Review, was a Trial Advocate of the NSU Trial Association and founded the Nova Fashion Law Association.  Prior to law school, Mayda received a Bachelor of Science degree from Barry University.

Telemundo’s Un Nuevo Día: Las finanzas y el desamor: ¡Descubre cómo evitar que tu divorcio te deje en la bancarrota!

Kluger Kaplan’s Christina Echeverri explains what you can do to protect your finances during a divorce.

Una experta en finanzas y una abogada de familia nos explican que debemos hacer para que una ruptura de pareja no afecte tus finanzas.

Christina Echeverri Telemundo

Click here to view the full video.