Lexis Nexis - Case Brief

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Law School Case Brief

Nike, Inc. v. Nikepal Int'l, Inc. - 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66686 (E.D. Cal. Sep. 7, 2007) No. 2:05-cv-1468-GEB-JFM

Rule:

Likelihood of injury to business reputation or a dilution of the distinctive quality of a mark registered under this chapter, or a mark valid at common law, or a trade name valid at common law, shall be a ground for injunctive relief notwithstanding the absence of competition between parties or the absence of confusion as to the source of goods or services.

Facts:

Plaintiff Nike, Inc. filed a trademark action against Defendant Nikepal International Inc., contesting its use of the mark NIKEPAL. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board denied plaintiff’s opposition to the registration of the NIKEPAL mark. Plaintiff sought injunction and reversal of denial, alleging federal and state trademark dilution, trademark infringement and unfair competition.

Issue:

Did the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board err in denying the trademark action of plaintiff Nike?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

The court reversed the ruling of the Board and permanently enjoined defendant from using the NIKEPAL mark. Here, plaintiff presented evidence showing that the vast majority of the survey respondents, representing a significant segment of defendant's target customer group, associate plaintiff and/or its products and services when they encounter NIKEPAL, thus perceiving the two marks as essentially the same.

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