On Monday, The Malhotra Center for Plastic Surgery, P.C. filed a complaint in the Eastern District of Michigan – Southern Division against the Ann Arbor Center for Plastic Surgery, P.C. for allegedly infringing upon Malhotra’s trademarks.
Both the plaintiff and defendant offer cosmetic and plastic surgery services, where the plaintiff operated under the trademarked name “Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery” as early as January 2015. They claimed that this trademark “signifies” The Malhotra Center’s key services and is a “widely recognized” name; they say their website is “www.annarborplasticsurgery.com.”
On April 15, the defendant allegedly changed their operating name to “Ann Arbor Center for Plastic Surgery” and their website address to “www.aaplasticsurgery.com.” The plaintiff claimed that this name change is “nearly identical” to Malhotra’s and is targeted at the same group of consumers, which is likely to confuse potential and existing customers. Malhotra alleged that the defendant knew about their trademark before they made the change, and even reverted some of their branding to their previous name after receiving a letter from the plaintiffs, but continued to use the same website URL and name on several social media sites.
Due to the similar names, Malhotra has “received calls, appointments and patients intended for Defendant, and patients have reported that they confused Plaintiff and Defendant and arrived at the wrong business location” as well as some patients intending to contact one business, and actually contacting the other. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant’s infringement was willful and intended to cause harm. As a result, they are suing on the counts of federal common law trademark infringement, a violation of the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, false designation of origin/false advertising, unfair competition under the Lanham Act, violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, and unjust enrichment.
The plaintiff is seeking a declaration that the defendant willfully infringed upon Malhotra’s trademark, damages, statutory damages, costs and disbursements, treble damages, injunctive relief enjoining the defendant from continuing their infringement, attorney’s fees and costs, and other relief.
Malhotra is represented by Dykema Gossett PLLC.