On Wednesday, the District of Nevada issued a trademark ruling in favor of defendant social media platform Parler LLC over plaintiff 46 Labs LLC’s opposition, finding no likelihood of consumer confusion. The controversy involves the companies’ dueling ‘P’-shaped logos, which the plaintiff claims look almost identical except for their color difference.
The opinion by Judge Cristina D. Silva explained that 46 Labs offers communication infrastructure and related services, one of which is a user interface called “Peeredge.” The logo 46 Labs has used and registered for Peeredge since 2015 is a stylized blue ‘P.’
Parler operates a social media platform that launched in August 2018. In connection with the platform, Parler utilizes a red stylized ‘P.’
The court reported that Parler does not dispute the near identicality of the marks aside from their colors, but that it moved to dismiss for other reasons. Chief among them was that 46 Labs and Parler’s logos do not confuse consumers. The defendant argued that Parler’s social networking platform is distinct from the Peeredge service and that the companies’ services are not competitive with each other.
In a comparison of the two products, the court found no trademark infringement because Parler did not use a substantially identical mark for similar goods. “46 Labs simply cannot allege that users have a plausible likelihood of confusion. Plaintiff’s attempt to throw both technology companies into a general ‘communications’ bucket are unpersuasive,” the court wrote.
The opinion said that 46 Labs made no effort to “link” Peeredge, essentially a telephone platform, and Parler, a social media platform that promotes itself as an alternative to larger sites like Facebook and Twitter. Judge Silva also noted the difference in client base with Peeredge serving businesses with sophisticated telecommunications needs, and Parler serving general use social media consumers.
“The services are also marketed very differently; Parler is available on phone and computer app stores, while Peeredge is available only to 46 Labs’ clients,” the opinion further commented.
The court dismissed all causes of action: federal trademark infringement, false association, common law trademark infringement, and common law unfair competition, but granted leave to amend.