Law Street Media

Lamps Plus Sues Advertising Firm for TM Infringement

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Late last week, Lamps Plus, Inc. (Lamps Plus) filed a trademark infringement and  unfair competition action against three limited liability companies including an advertising agency in the Eastern District of California. Lamps Plus, which describes itself in the complaint as a “premiere lighting retailer, distributor and manufacturer,” alleges that the Defendants, acting in concert, have violated Lamps Plus’s federally registered and common law trademarks

Lamps Plus, a California corporation, alleges that it was founded in 1976, registered its “Lamps Plus Mark” with the USTPO in 1984 and formally changed its corporate name to “Lamps Plus, Inc.” in 1985. The defendants are Action Caption Advertising LLC dba Lamps Plus Max, an Alaska LLC; Evgeni Mighty Wilderness, LLC, a California LLC;  and Draboi Classic Venturing LLC, dba Home Lights USX, a New York LLC. Although the complaint contains some background allegations concerning the interrelationship between, and varying roles of, the various defendants, the gravamen of the complaint is that the “Defendants have acted in concert to use the Lamps Plus Mark on [Defendants’] Lamps Plus Max website to sell lighting goods.”

Lamps Plus alleges that defendants began using the Lamps Plus Max website on or about May 29 and further alleges that on August 9, “Lamps Plus sent a letter to Defendants demanding that they stop using Defendants’ knock-off Lamps Plus Max mark in connection with Defendants’ lighting goods and services.”

The complaint contains seven causes of action. Three are state law claims: Common Law Trademark Infringement; Common Law Unfair Competition; and Violation of the California Business and Professions Code. Four are federal statutory claims under the Lanham Act: Trademark Infringement; Counterfeiting; Unfair Competition; and Cyberpiracy.

Lamps Plus seeks injunctive relief against further infringing conduct and, specifically, an order requiring Defendants to “cancel the registration for or assign their domain name to Lamps Plus. Lamps Plus also requests that the court “find this case to be exceptional due to Defendants’ willful infringement and counterfeiting of the Lamps Plus Mark,” which may result in statutory fee shifting under the Lanham Act. Regarding monetary relief, Lamps Plus seeks an accounting “for their [the Defendants’] profits and all infringements of Lamps Plus’ Mark and Lamps Plus’ Common Law Mark,” damages, including statutory damages and statutorily “enhanced” or multiplied damages, fees and costs.

Counsel for Lamps Plus is Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP.

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