Articles Posted in Trademark Dilution

Pic1-300x273Marilyn D. Mintz of Northern California, had filed a Trademark infringement lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California alleging that Subaru of America, Inc., a New Jersey Corporation with place of Business in the State of New Jersey, infringed a phrase and design trademarked by Plaintiff.

Defendant Subaru, which has a large manufacturing presence in Lafayette, Indiana, ran an ad campaign with the slogan “Share the Love.” Plaintiff alleged that this infringed her trademarked phrase, “A World of Love, for You and Those You Love.” In the ad campaign, Plaintiff also used a graphic design showing a hand with a heart on it. Plaintiff alleged that this infringed a similar design she trademarked.

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BlogPhoto-6Indianapolis, IN – The National Collegiate Athletic Association had filed a Trademark infringement lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Kizzang LLC, infringed trademarks registered by the NCAA.

A recent Order signed by Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson grants the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Motion for Default Judgment and Motion for Permanent Injunction against Defendant, Kizzang LLC.

The NCAA sued over Defendant’s use of the terms “Final 3” and “April Madness,” which Plaintiff alleges infringe on the trademarked phrases “Final Four” and “March Madness,” which are commonly used to refer to the annual men’s college basketball championship tournament.

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Miami, Florida – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Honus Wagner Company, filed suit in the Southern District of Florida alleging that Defendants,BlogPhoto-5 Luminary Group LLC and Leslie Blair Roberts used the Plaintiff Honus Wagner’s name as an infringement to the Trademark “HONUS WAGNER.”  The US District Court for the Southern District of Florida has granted the Defendants Motion to Dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.

Plaintiff alleged that, based on a chain of sales and succession, “it owns common law rights in the Honus Wagner name and mark.” Wagner was a famous baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the early 20th century. Some of Wagner’s trading cards are among the most valuable pieces of sports memorabilia in the world.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Kimball International, Inc. of Jasper, Indiana filed suit in the Southern District of IndianaBlogPhoto-1 alleging that Defendant, Jasper Seating Company, Inc. d/b/a Community of Jasper, Indiana infringed its rights on the Indiana State Trademark Registration No. 2017-0052 for the mark “JEWEL.”  Plaintiff is seeking an injunction, damages, lost profits, attorneys’ fees and costs, and any other relief the Court seems just.

Plaintiff is an Indiana corporation that manufactures furniture for offices, schools, healthcare facilities and hotels. According to the complaint, since August 2015 the Plaintiff has manufactured a line of chairs under the “JEWEL” trademark. Plaintiff has sold the chairs across the country and registered the trademark with the Indiana Secretary of State.

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Evansville, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, SCLC, Inc. of Evansville, Indiana filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendants, Marie Kettering of Trenton, New Jersey, and Lanny Tyndall of Enfield, Gansu, Canada, infringed the rights of SCLC.  Plaintiff is seblogphoto-1eking a nationwide injunction, compensatory damages, and attorneys’ fees.

Plaintiff owns the rights to the “Shoe Carnival” trademark, and owns and operates The complaint alleges that the Defendants operate shoe sale websites that infringe upon the trade dress of the Shoe Carnival website, and infringe upon the Shoe Carnival trademark by displaying the registered mark on the websites. Specifically, the Defendants’ websites mimic the “look and feel” of Shoe Carnival’s website, including the layouts, placement of photos, borders, frames, colors, and overall impression. Further, Plaintiff alleges that the offending websites used the “Shoe Carnival” registered mark without permission in an effort to generate sales, which Plaintiff claims has caused consumer confusion.

Practice Tip: Although the Plaintiff alleges personal jurisdiction over the Defendants in the complaint, they do not allege any specific facts, such as infringing sales, which occurred in Indiana. This may cause issues for the Plaintiff in trying to secure personal jurisdiction over the Defendant. In a similar case in 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that an out-of-state business accused of trademark infringement did not have sufficient contacts, arising out of the accused activity, with Indiana to subject it to personal jurisdiction in the state.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, AM General LLC, of South Bend, Indiana filed suit in the Southern District of IndianaBlogPhoto-300x110 alleging that Defendants, Activision Blizzard, Inc., and Activision Publishing, Inc., both of Santa Monica, California and Major League Gaming Corp., of New York, New York; infringed its rights for the Trademark Registrations of HUMVEE and HMMWV and the trade dress of its HUMVEE brand vehicles. Plaintiff is seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages, corrective advertising, attorneys’ fees and costs, and prejudgment and post judgment interest.

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant’s series of Call of Duty videogames have consistently infringed by incorporating and allowing players to control vehicles in-game that, allegedly, infringe on Plaintiff’s real-life protected marks. In the complaint, Plaintiff points to various in-game levels that require the player to control a vehicle that allegedly copies the registered trade dress elements, and other moments in the game where the player sees or interacts with vehicles resembling Humvees. Plaintiff also notes in-game dialogue and marks written on the vehicles that mention “Humvee” specifically.

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HH-Inc-300x183Indianapolis, Indiana – Her Imports f/k/a EZJR, Inc. sued in the Southern District of Indiana alleging trademark infringement, trademark dilution and trade dress infringement.  The lawsuit names Her Hair, Inc., an Indianapolis hair-extension merchant, as Defendant.

Plaintiff markets and sells wigs, hairpieces and hair accessories.  It claims ownership of two trademarks, U.S. Trademark Registration Nos. 4,631,694 for the word mark “HER IMPORTS” and 5,048,646 for “HER IMPORTS” and design.  Both trademarks have been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Plaintiff contends that Defendant designed and used a similar mark, asserting that it was intentionally crafted “for the sole purposes of imitating Plaintiff’s Trademark, causing actual confusion among the general public, and attempting to pass itself off as being associated with the Her Imports brand.”  Plaintiff further states that Defendant’s trademark has caused actual customer confusion.  Defendant’s mark was registered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office under Reg. No. 5,144,514.


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Plaintiff further accuses Defendant of copying its “unique store interior trade dress,” comprising black and white Damask wallpaper along with red trim, in Defendant’s store.

In this Indiana lawsuit, filed by trademark attorneys for Plaintiff, the following claims are made:

  • Count I: Mark Cancellation 15 U.S.C. § 1064
  • Count II: Trade Dress Infringement 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a) (as to the Store Interior)
  • Count III: Dilution by Blurring — 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c) (as to Plaintiff’s Trademark)
  • Count IV: Dilution by Blurring — 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c) (as to Plaintiff’s Store Interior Trade Dress)
  • Count IV: [sic] Recovery of Profits, Damages, Costs, and Attorneys’ Fees Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a)
  • Count VI: Destruction of Infringing Articles 15 U.S.C. § 1118
  • Count VII: Injunctive Relief 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c)(1)

Plaintiff seeks, inter alia, injunctive relief, the cancellation of Defendant’s trademark, damages, attorneys’ fees and costs.

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Heartland-300x75Indianapolis, IndianaHeartland Consumer Products LLC and TC Heartland LLC, of Carmel, Indiana filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging trademark and trade dress infringement, dilution and unfair competition under the Lanham Act, the Indiana State Trademark Act, and the common law of the State of Indiana.

At issue are trademarks covering Splenda®-brand sweetener, which has been approved for use in over 80 countries and used in more than 4000 products globally.  In this Indiana litigation, Heartland claims that some or all of the following trademarks have been infringed: 1544079, 3346910; 4172135, 4165028, 4301712, 4172136, 4165029,4122311, 4187229, 4202774, 4230392, 4238101, 4106164, 4664653, and 4744600.  These trademarks have been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  In addition, Heartland claims ownership of the following pending applications for United States Trademark Registration Serial Nos. 86865337, 87012521, and 87010504.

Defendants in the lawsuit are DineEquity, Inc., Applebee’s Franchisor LLC, Applebee’s Restaurants LLC, Applebees-300x220Applebee’s Services, Inc., International House of Pancakes, LLC f/k/a International House of Pancakes, Inc., IHOP Franchising LLC, IHOP Franchise Company, LLC and IHOP FranIHOP-300x225chisor LLC.  Plaintiff asserts that all Defendants have a principal place of business in Glendale, California.  They are accused of leading customers to believe that they offer Splenda-brand sweetener when they do not.  Plaintiff contends that instead of American-made Splenda, the product offered to the customers is, in fact, “a lower-quality product of China.”

Indiana trademark attorneys for Heartland sued in federal court.  They assert:

  • Count I: Common Law Trademark Infringement and Trademark Infringement under 15 U.S.C. § 1114(1)
  • Count II: False Designation of Origin under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)
  • Count III: Unfair Competition
  • Count IV: Trademark Dilution under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c)
  • Count V: Trademark Dilution under I.C. 24-2-1-13.5
  • Count VII [sic]: Preliminary and Permanent Injunctive Relief
  • Count VIII: Corrective Advertising Damages

Plaintiff asks the court for injunctive relief, costs and attorneys’ fees.  They also seek various types of damages, including actual, statutory, punitive and treble damages.

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Huber-2-300x224New Albany, IndianaHuber Orchards, Inc. of Borden, Indiana filed a trademark lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana.  Defendants in the litigation are C. Mondavi & Family (“CMF”) and C. Mondavi & Sons, Inc., both of St. Helena, California.  Huber filed the lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment that its mark “Huber Winery Generations Indiana Red Wine” does not infringe Defendants’ trademark.

Both Plaintiff and Defendants produce and offer wine products.  In February 2017, CMF sent a cease and desist letter to the president of Huber stating that CMF owns a federally registered trademark for GENERATIONS for wine.  This trademark has been registered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as U.S. Reg. No. 2,236,517.

In the letter, sent to Huber by a trademark lawyer for Defendants, CMF asserts that Huber’s use of the word “Generations” in conjunction with the sale of wine violates the Lanham Act by infringing and diluting CMF’s trademark.  The letter demanded that Huber cease all use of the trademark GENERATIONS in connection with its Huber Winery Generation Indiana Red blend wines.  CMF further contended that Huber is liable for injunctive relief, damages, possible treble damages and attorneys’ fees.


Huber contends that it began selling its “Huber Winery Generations Indiana Red Wine” line locally in 1997, two years before CMF registered its trademark, and that it began selling the wine on the internet in 2004.  It further asserts that its use of its “Huber Winery Generations” common law trademark does not infringe any trademark in which CMF has right because there is no likelihood of confusion.  It asks the court to declare that Huber’s use of “Generations” and “Huber Winery Generations” do not infringe CMF’s GENERATIONS trademark.

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NCAA-300x202Indianapolis, Indiana –  National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) of Indianapolis, Indiana sued in the Southern District of Indiana alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition.

NCAA’s trademarks, which have been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office (“USPTO”), pertain to the following uses of FINAL FOUR and MARCH MADNESS:

FINAL FOUR Association services, namely, conducting annual basketball tournaments at the college level 1,488,836;

May 17, 1988

FINAL FOUR Promoting the goods and services of others by allowing sponsors to affiliate their goods and services with collegiate championship tournaments 2,377,720;

Aug. 15, 2000

FINAL FOUR Printed matter, namely, guides in the field of sports; Luggage, namely, portfolios, backpacks, duffle bags, rolling luggage, garment bags, briefcases, athletic bags and tote bags; and Entertainment services, Namely, providing information in the field of college sports via the Internet 2,964,266;

June 28, 2006

MARCH MADNESS Entertainment services, namely, presentation of athletic and entertainment personalities in a panel forum 1,571,340;

Dec. 12, 1989

MARCH MADNESS Entertainment in the nature of basketball tournaments between college teams 2,485,443;

Sept. 4, 2001

MARCH MADNESS Telecommunications services; namely the transmission of voice, data, images, audio, video and information via local and long distance telephone, satellite and global computer networks; leasing telecommunications equipment, components, systems and supplies; electronic mail services; telephone voice messaging services; providing multiple-user access to global computer networks to transmit, receive and otherwise access and use information of general interest to consumers; web casting of athletic games, tournaments, exhibitions, and events via the Internet 3,025,527;

Dec. 13, 2005

Defendants in this Indiana trademark lawsuit are Kizzang LLC of Las Vegas, Nevada and Robert Alexander, the founder and owner of the business.  They are in the business of providing nationwide Internet-based promotions that award prizes for predicting the results of sporting events.  Plaintiff states that they have branded their NCAA-related services using the mark FINAL 3.


Plaintiff further asserts that Defendants had planned to adopt APRIL MADNESS for the same services as FINAL 3, but that they delayed doing so upon learning that NCAA objected to their use of FINAL 3.  Kizzang has applied for federal trademark registrations for both marks with the USPTO.

Indiana trademark attorneys for Plaintiff contend that Defendants adopted both names because of their similarity to the marks used by NCAA and that Defendants did so with the intention of exploiting the goodwill associated with FINAL FOUR and MARCH MADNESS.  In this lawsuit, filed in federal court, the following claims are made:

  • Trademark Infringement Under 15 U.S.C. § 1114
  • Trademark Infringement Under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)
  • Trademark Dilution Under 15 U.S.C. § 1125
  • Common Law Unfair Competition

Plaintiff asks for various remedies from the court, including a judgment of willful and intentional violations of 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114, 1125 and Indiana common law; injunctive relief including restraining Defendants from further use of FINAL 3 and APRIL MADNESS as well as an order that the USPTO deny registration for the marks; damages, including treble damages; and attorneys’ fees.

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