Thursday, May 5, 2011

Traverse Internet Law Federal Court Report: May 2011 - Trademark Infringement Lawsuits

The facts are unproven allegations of the Plaintiff and all commentary is based upon the allegations, the truthfulness and accuracy of which are likely in dispute.

FILED: 4/15/2011

Most people would think that the name of a geographic location is not trademark protectable. This is a good example of an instance in which such a name is protectable by trademark. There is a raging debate as to whether metatags influence search results. But as you can see from this case, people are still getting sued for using trademarks in metatags, and avoiding lawsuits is a big part of being successful in your online endeavors.

Pinehurst is the famous golf resort located in North Carolina. Defendant US Golf Trips is a Virginia limited liability company operating out of Virginia Beach, VA. The Defendant is alleged to be using the “Pinehurst” trademarks on its web properties in an attempt to sell its golf services and golf travel and accommodation packages. Pinehurst alleges that that Defendant is also using its trademark in its metatags.

The lawsuit alleges trafficking in services bearing a counterfeit mark, infringement of registered marks, false designation of origin, trademark dilution, cybersquatting, common law service mark infringement, and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Pinehurst requests preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, the transfer of rights to any infringing domain names, an accounting and payment of profits, actual damages, maximum statutory damages, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. Traverse Internet Law Cross-Reference Number 1489.