Naples home security company wins injunction in trademark design infringement case vs Chinese rival

By Marian Johns | Apr 19, 2019

FORT MYERS — A Naples-based home security equipment company that alleges a Chinese company has been selling counterfeit products with its trade and design marks, has been granted an injunction against the rival.

According to the April 10 U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Fort Myers Division filing, Night Owl SP LLC, a home security equipment company, petitioned the court for a renewed motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the defendant Dongguan Auhua Electronics Co., and Jun Li.

The case stems from Night Owl's allegations that Auhua, which supplied Night Owl with component products from 2012 to 2017, is selling counterfeit products with the Night Owl's trade and design marks. Night Owl further argues that Auhua also registered several Night Owl design marks in China and uses the registrations as a way to "disrupt exportation of Night Owl's products from China" and has also filed to register those marks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  

Night Owl had previously filed a temporary restraining order in an attempt to stop Auhua's USPTO applications from going through due to fear that approval would affect Night Owl's efforts in the Chinese proceedings as well as Night Owl's importing from China. 

However, Night Owl's motion was denied by the court, which stated that a temporary restraining order is not a "temporary, status-quo preserving remedy" and a hearing was scheduled.  Night Owl was unable to serve Li regarding the hearing and the court stated it believes the "defendants are aware of this case and that any ignorance of the hearing was willful."

The judge stated Night Owl has "proven that it owns the Night Owl mark and has used the design since 2009. The court also stated it then used a "seven-factor test" to determine if the defendants' use of the mark is likely to cause confusion."  The judge agreed that Night Owl showed strength of the mark, similarity of the marks and of the goods, similarity of trade channels and customers, similarity of advertising, the intent of Auhua to gain a benefit by using the marks but did not show evidence of "actual confusion."

U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson ordered the USPTO to cancel Auhua's registration and prohibited the defendants from any use of Night Owl's trademarks.

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