Muncie, Indiana – The Plaintiff, 1.4g Holdings, LLC (“1.4g”), filed suit against North Central Industries, Great Grizzly, Inc. and R. Brown, Inc. for Trademark and Trade Dress Infringement, as well as False Designation of Origin under 15 U.S.C. § 1125 and Misappropriation of Commercial Properties Under Indiana Common Law.
1.4g Holdings, LLC is a company that produces and sells consumer fireworks under the brand name ‘76 Pro Line. Per their website, ’76 Pro Line’s mission is to provide high quality 1.54g fireworks for hobbyists, enthusiasts, professional shooters, and display companies. ’76 Pro Line items have been featured in displays and product demonstrations at several annual events including Western Winter Blast, Pyrotechnics Guild International, Cobra-Con, and the National Fireworks Association Expo.
North Central Industries, Great Grizzly, Inc. and R. Brown, Inc. (“NCI”) are companies that also produce and sell consumer fireworks. According to its website, NCI is a second-generation, family-owned direct importer and wholesaler of customer 1.4G fireworks. With over 68 years of experience, they serve every pyro need with two distribution points in Muncie, Indiana and Forest Park, Georgia.
According to the Complaint, 1.4g alleges that the Defendants are infringing on their trademarks by using similar names and designs on their fireworks products. Additionally, the defendants are accused of using similar designs and packaging for their products, which could cause confusion among consumers. 1.4g has registered numerous trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The trademarks that are allegedly being infringed upon in this suit are the TIKI mark registered on May 30,017 under Registration No. 5,214,187, the GHOST mark registered on August 21, 2018 under Registration No. 5,546,560, the XL mark registered on February 28, 2018 under Registration No. 5,152,562, all of which are registered in connection with the goods and services of Fireworks.
Therefore, the Plaintiff is seeking damages, profits resulting from the infringement, equitable relief, preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, impoundment and disposal of all infringing articles in Defendants’ possession, attorney fees, costs of suit, and pre-and post-judgment interest.
This case highlights the importance of protecting intellectual property rights, particularly trademarks. Trademarks help consumers identify the source of a product and can be valuable assets for businesses. When a company invests time, effort, and resources into creating and promoting their brand, trademarks ensure that their competitors cannot unfairly benefit from this investment. Trademark infringement can lead to confusion among consumers, who may mistakenly purchase products or services from a competitor, believing that it is the same as the original brand. This confusion can harm the reputation of the business and damage the goodwill and loyalty it has built among its customers over time. Moreover, if a competitor’s product is of lower quality than the original brand, consumers may associate this poor quality with the original brand, leading to a loss of sales and market share.
The protection of intellectual property rights, particularly trademarks, is essential for businesses to maintain their identity, brand recognition, and reputation among consumers. This case serves as a reminder for businesses to safeguard their trademarks and take appropriate legal action when necessary to prevent unfair competition and protect their investments.