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Thursday, May 13th, 2021
Overview

Overview

Closed
by April 16, 2021 Business

A locking mailbox maker’s trademark infringement claim against a competitor was dismissed where the competitor’s website clearly identified the maker as the manufacturer of a particular mailbox, the statements about that mailbox were negative, and thus, the maker had failed to demonstrate a likelihood of confusion to overcome the nominative fair use defense. The trademark dilution claim was dismissed for similar reasons. A false advertising claim survived as the maker had satisfied the requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b) with respect to the statements on the competitor’s website. Parties’ litigation lawyer California appeal.

Outcome

Motion denied in part, granted in part.

Procedural Posture

Pending was plaintiff automobile owners’ motion to remand this class action suit to state court on the grounds that plaintiffs and each purported class member had claims below the $ 75,000 amount in controversy requirement for diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C.S. § 1332(a).

Overview

Plaintiff automobile owners brought a class-action suit against defendant automobile manufacturer, alleging their respective vehicles were finished with defective paint. Plaintiffs then brought this motion to remand the actions to state court on the grounds that plaintiffs and each purported class member had claims below the $ 75,000 amount in controversy requirement for diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C.S. § 1332(a). Upon review, the court granted the motion. The manufacturer had argued that the equitable remedy of disgorgement made this case “like” a common fund case, and that therefore the court should assert jurisdiction because the value of the common fund exceeded the requisite amount of controversy. The court disagreed, holding that each plaintiff had a separate and distinct claim against the manufacturer, and it would therefore have been inappropriate to aggregate their claims to satisfy the amount in controversy requirement. Accordingly, the actions were remanded to state court.

Outcome

Plaintiff automobile owners’ motion to remand to state court this class action suit against defendant automobile manufacturer for defective paint finish was granted.

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