California water bottle company sues unknown entities for merging, manipulating, altering, and “hijacking” plaintiff’s product listings and consumer reviews causing them to be associated with defendants’ products instead.” There is a Section 43(a) claim that alleges confusion as to origin, but plaintiff doesn’t appear to allege ownership of a trademark. The complaint alleges that “misappropriated” consumer reviews  are false statements either to origin or to qualities or characteristics.

Text of complaint: jordane v john doe sdny complaint tortious

AWGI. LLC v. Atlas Logistics, Inc.; Atlas Van Lines, Inc.

Justia summary: Atlas Movers federally registered the “Atlas” mark for “transportation of household goods of others,” first using “Atlas” in 1948 when it formed Atlas Van Lines, providing transportation and logistics services, primarily moving household goods. Since 1970, its division, STG, has provided logistics services for non-household goods shipments. Atlas Movers eventually focused more on logistics, forming Atlas Relocation Services in 1995. In 2007, Atlas Movers began marketing its service as “Atlas Logistics.” and renamed its logistics company Atlas Logistics, which can ship, or arrange the shipment of, any commodity. Eaton manufactures and distributes steel. Eaton created Atlas Trucking in 1999, then expanded to ship goods other than steel and metal for companies in addition to its own. It developed Atlas Logistics in 2003 as an adjunct to Atlas Trucking. Eaton knew of Atlas Van Lines. Atlas Movers sued in 2017 for infringement. Eaton answered and counterclaimed that it owned the Atlas Logistics mark. The Sixth Circuit affirmed a judgment in favor of Atlas Movers, upholding findings that Atlas Movers marketed “Atlas” to an extent that the public recognized it, that the parties’ services are related because they engage in at least some of the same transportation services, that the marks were functionally identical, and that there was actual confusion.

Text of decision:

sixth circuit atlas

 

 

 

 

 

American Girls sells dolls. Defendant, located in China, allegedly sells counterfeits of plaintiff’s dolls. Plaintiff attempted trap buys into the district, however no orders were fulfilled. Defendant alleged that it had a policy of not shipping into the U.S. Court dismisses for lack of specific jurisdiction, as mere accessibility of the website in the district was insufficient.

What if a defendant never fulfills orders – but just charges credit cards. Where does the tort take place?

Text of decision:

van leeuwen v rebel creamery

Plaintiff sold BLACK ICE car fresheners. Defendant sold a ‘dual scent’ car freshener – the package had a dial that allowed the user to choose between two scents – MIDNIGHT BLACK or ICE STORM. The two names appeared as MIDGNIGHT BLACK ICE STORM (See above). Defendant was very aware of plaintiff and its BLACK ICE products. One employee suggests getting as close to BLACK ICE as possible lawfully. The Second Circuit states “Rarely does an infringement case reveal such explicit evidence of bad faith.” I don’t know if the Court is excluding counterfeiting from its definition of infringement, but even if it is, that statement seems a bit much. Summary judgment in favor of defendant reversed and remanded.

bonus query: Why didn’t defendant reverse the product name to ICE STORM MIDNIGHT BLACK?

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