Pattishall IP Blog

July 7, 2015

Amazon.com Sued for Bait and Switch

Filed under: Internet, Litigation, Trademark (General) — Tags: , , , — Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP @ 2:52 pm

baa_hiresBy: Brett A. August

In an important case for all companies whose products are sold on Amazon.com, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a district ruling yesterday that Amazon could not be sued for trademark infringement when it presented the goods of one watch maker in response to a search for another brand of watches.  In Multi Time Machine Inc. v. Amazon.com Inc., Case No. 13-55575, the Ninth Circuit (in a 2-1 decision) ruled that Amazon’s practices could confuse consumers into believing the watches displayed in the search results are put out by a company related to the manufacturer of the searched-for watches.

This is an important result for all vendors of branded goods who believe they are losing business to competitors due to Amazon’s failure to tell users of its website that the goods for which the customer is searching are not available on Amazon.com. The court noted that Amazon’s competitors – such as Buy.com and Overstock.com –  inform customers when the goods in their search terms are not sold on those websites.

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Brett August is a partner with Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP, a leading intellectual property law firm based in Chicago, Illinois.  Pattishall McAuliffe represents both plaintiffs and defendants in trademark, copyright, and unfair competition trials and appeals. The firm advises its clients on a broad range of domestic and international intellectual property matters, including brand protection, Internet, and e-commerce issues.  Brett’s practice focuses on domestic and international trademark, copyright, unfair competition, and Internet counseling and litigation.

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February 11, 2009

$2 Million Award for Pattishall Client

Filed under: Litigation, Pattishall — Tags: , , — Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP @ 5:35 pm

Judge Elaine Bucklo of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois awarded over $2 million to Paxar Corproation, f/k/a Monarch Marking Systems and now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Avery Dennison Corp., in a lawsuit handled by Chicago trademark attorneys Brett August and Andrew Downer. The award in this trademark infringment and unfair competition case was for damages, costs and attorneys fees under a 1995 settlement agreement that was filed with the court as a consent judgment against Kap Graphics and Larry Fern. The settlement called for payments over 13 years and had a powerful liquidated-damages provision. Although initially expressing doubts about jurisdiction and the liquidated damages provision, today Judge Bucklo entered an order that states in part:

This Court has concluded that it does have jurisdiction to enforce the settlement because it was incorporated into a consent judgment. [Cites omitted.] Although harsh, the parties agreed that in the event of any default, Kap Graphics would be liable not only for the amount in default, but for $2,000,000.00 in liquidated damages, as well as attorney’s fees and costs.

The case is Monarch Marking Systems v. Kap Graphics Inc., et al., 1:93-cv-5082.

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