North American Van Lines Granted Maximum Statutory Damages for Cybersquatting

Fort Wayne, Indiana – Honorable Judge Holly A. Brady of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana granted in part and denied in part Plaintiff North American Van Lines, Inc.’s (“NAVL”) Motion for Entry of Default Judgment against Defendant North American Moving & Storage, Inc. (“NAMS”). The claims alleged in the Complaint included Federal Trademark Infringement (15 U.S.C. §1114); Federal Unfair Competition (15 U.S.C. §1125(a)); Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (15 U.S.C. §1125(d)); and Indiana Trademark Infringement (Ind. Code § 24-2-1-13).

After NAVL first moved for default judgment in this case, the Court set an evidentiary hearing date as to damages. NAVL moved to vacate the hearing claiming it was electing an award of statutory damages. However, the Magistrate Judge denied the vacation of the hearing because there was a discrepancy between the relief sought in the Complaint for actual damages and NAMS’ profits and statutory damages for willful trademark counterfeiting in the Motion for Default Judgment.

Thereafter, NAVL filed an Amended Complaint to add a claim for willful trademark counterfeiting seeking $2,000,000 in statutory damages under 15 U.S.C. § 1117(c)(2). NAVL sought an entry of default on its Amended Complaint approximately three months after its filing but that request was denied for inadequate proof of service. Six months later, NAVL filed an Affidavit for Proof of Service with the Court. After not receiving a timely response to the Complaint, NAVL sought default judgment for a third time.

The Court first found against NAVL’s claim for trademark counterfeiting in that NAMS’ mark was not similar enough to NAVL’s. However, the Court did find “it appropriate to permanently enjoin Defendant from using North America or North American in connection with moving or storage services.” Second, the Court found that NAMS had violated the Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act and granted NAVL the maximum in statutory damages – $100,000. Finally, the Court found the case to be “exceptional, warranting the ‘award of attorney fees for willful infringement under the Lanham Act’.

This case was assigned to District Judge Holly A. Brady and Magistrate Judge Susan L. Collins.  Assigned Case No. 1:18-cv-00196-HAB-SLC.


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