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Irked judge in tanning trademark dispute: ‘This is a busy Court’

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A federal judge warned a tanning product maker and lawyers defending it from a trademark infringement claim that they were dangerously close to getting burned.

Indianapolis-based Australian Gold uses the trademark “Live Laugh Tan” in marketing its line of indoor tanning preparations. The company sued Florida-based Devoted Creations after it began selling products using the mark, “Live Love Tan.” Australian Gold claims trademark infringement and unjust enrichment.

Devoted Creations petitioned the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana to dismiss the complaint, Australian Gold, LLC v. Devoted Creations, LLC, 1:13-cv-00971-JMS-DML, but Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson issued an order tersely denying the motion. Devoted Creations argued that its use of the mark on tanning products could not infringe on Australian Gold’s use of its trademark on tote bags.

“In light of this allegation, Devoted Creations’ argument must be premised on one of two things: either that the Court will not read the Complaint (which alleges facts contrary to Devoted Creations’ position) or will not apply the correct standard of review,” Magnus-Stinson wrote in an order signed Wednesday. “It goes without saying that neither of these premises is true.

“Devoted Creations’ sole argument is a nonstarter on both the facts and the law, particularly on a motion to dismiss,” she wrote. “This is a busy Court that, of course, prefers to focus its efforts on motions that at least arguably have merit. The Court therefore reminds Devoted Creations and its counsel that it must be cognizant of the ethical duties under both Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(b)(2) (stating that a motion presented to the Court functions as a certification by the presenting attorney that ‘the claims, defenses, and other legal contentions are warranted by existing law’) and 28 U.S.C § 1927 (providing for sanctions for unreasonably protracting litigation)
when filing a motion with the Court.”

Australian Gold’s complaint  seeks maximum damages allowed under 15 USC § 1117 for wrongful profits due to trademark infringement, plus attorneys fees and costs. It also seeks to bar Devoted Creations “from advertising and offering for sale or selling any products which have caused actual confusion or are likely to cause confusion” with Australian Gold’s trademark.

A jury trial is scheduled for Jan. 26, 2015.
 

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  1. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  2. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  3. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  4. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  5. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

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