Suterra LLC, a self-purported “global leader in environmentally sustainable pest control” filed a trademark lawsuit on Tuesday against Mosaic Ag Innovation Solutions LLC claiming that the defendants use of a Susterra trademark for agricultural products, including fertilizer, is a breach of the Lanham Act and constitutes unfair competition under California business laws.
Suterra reportedly sells pest control in over 30 states. The company said in a September article on agrobusiness.com that Mosaic Ag’s fertilizer Susterra is available to retailers throughout the United States. They claim this action is a breach of its trademarks. (At the time of publication, Law Street could not locate the article referred to in the complaint.)
The plaintiff claimed that it suffered losses and damages from the similarly named fertilizer. The company has reportedly manufactured and sold agriculture products under the Suterra mark since 2001, it owns one trademark for the standard characters for “suterra” and another for the words with a specific design. The complaint said both registrations are currently valid.
Suterra also said that Mosaic was aware of its trademarks, and that they sent notice advising them on September 24, 2020. The company said it has “devoted a great deal of time, money and resources to develop and market its products” under the Suterra marks and have developed “substantial goodwill” as it consistently used the marks.
The complaint says that harm is likely to come to the plaintiff as both the Suterra and Susterra products are agricultural and would be sold to similar customers and on similar trade channels. The Susterra products are reportedly bio-rational and use bio-based technology, which causes the plaintiff to worry that the defendants are “not only creating likelihood of confusion,” but “attempting to fall within and capitalize on Suterra’s core business proposition.”
Suterra claimed Mosaic is intentionally advertising and selling a product that infringes its trademark and that because of the defendant’s actions it will lose revenue and sustain damages. The plaintiff also alleged that the defendants have been “unjustly enriched” because of the infringement.
Suterra, represented by Roll Law Group PC, asked the court to rule that the defendants infringed on its trademark, enter an injunction stopping them from advertising, selling, or marketing its infringing products, require the defendants to pay damages, and award Suterra any profits the defendant has received from the alleged infringing activities.