This case is before the Court to answer a question under Florida law certified by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit that is essential in determining an action pending in that court and for which there appears to be no controlling Florida precedent. We have jurisdiction. Art. V, § 3(b)(6), Fla. Const. In Florida VirtualSchool v. K12, Inc., 735 F.3d 1271, 1275 (11th Cir. 2013), the Eleventh Circuit certified the following question:
Does Florida VirtualSchool’s statutory authority to “acquire, enjoy, use, and dispose of . . . trademarks and any licenses and other rights or interests thereunder or therein” necessarily include the authority to bring suit to protect those trademarks, or is that authority vested only in the Department of State?
Because the statute quoted by the Eleventh Circuit includes additional language that is relevant to our resolution of the issue presented, and that federal court specifically stated that our analysis is not limited, we rephrase the certified question as follows:
Does the Florida Virtual School’s statutory authority to “acquire, enjoy, use, and dispose of . . . trademarks and any licenses and other rights or interests thereunder or therein,” and the designation of its board of trustees as a “body corporate with all the powers of a body corporate and such authority as is needed for the proper operation and improvement of the Florida Virtual School,” necessarily include the authority to file an action to protect those trademarks?
For the reasons expressed below, we answer the question in the affirmative.