Justia Iowa Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Intellectual Property
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Exile Brewing Company's attempt to intervene in the underlying probate matter and striking Exile's motion to vacate, dismiss, and close two estates seeking to pursue certain claims, holding that the probate court did not err in denying the request to intervene and close the estates.During the 1950s and '60s, Ruth Bisignano owned and operated a popular bar in Des Moines. In 2012, Exile named one of its craft beers "Ruthie" and used Ruth's image. Ruthie died in 1993, and her estate was closed that year. Her husband Frank Bisignano died three years later, and his estate was closed in 1999. In 2020, Plaintiff successfully filed petitions to reopen both estates. Subsequently, as administrator of Frank's estate, Plaintiff sued Exile alleging common law appropriation and other claims. Exile filed a motion to vacate, dismiss, and close both estates, arguing that the probate court lacked statutory jurisdiction to reopen the estates. The probate court denied the motion, concluding that Exile had no right to intervene in the probate proceedings. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the probate court correctly determined that Exile was an interloper with no ability to challenge the estates' reopening. View "In re Estate of Bisignano" on Justia Law