BLOGS: Furniture Law Blog

Monday, December 19, 2011, 9:55 AM

A.B.C. Carpet Trademark Action Against ABCHomestore.com

New York City-based A.B.C. Carpet, Inc. and A.B.C. Home, Inc. (d/b/a ABC Carpet & Home) filed an action on November 16, 2011 against ABCHomestore.com (Bronx, NY) for trademark infringement, unfair competition, cybersquatting, and related state claims.  Plaintiffs own federally registered trademarks for ABC, ABC Home, and ABC (with design) among other trademark rights for retail store services featuring home furnishings, carpets and rugs.  Plaintiffs maintain a website at <abchome.com>.  Defendant operates a website at <abchomestore.com> selling various home furnishings.

While the complaint itself is not unusual, it underscores the ability of a business with federally registered marks to make a strong case for infringement.  If plaintiffs in this case were relying on common law rights or perhaps state registrations, they would face a significant evidentiary burden to prove validity and ownership of a mark - ABC - that is widespread for a variety of goods and services.  Any business that has developed a brand name that is arguably weak should consider filing an application for a federal trademark registration.  That certificate may make all the difference when a cybersquatting infringer shows up.

The case is No. 1:11-cv-8292 (S.D.N.Y.).
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