Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Farouk seeks to flatten eBay sellers of counterfeit CHI products with trademark infringement lawsuits.

After seeing Farouk Systems, Inc. (“FSI”) file fourteen separate trademark infringement lawsuits over the last few months, my curiosity got the best of me and I downloaded one of the complaints to ascertain the nature of the dispute. See Farouk Systems, Inc. v. Reginald Johnson, individually and d/b/a flocko1010, Case No. 4:07-cv-03454 (S.D. Tex.) (click here to download the complaint).

FSI owns several trademark registrations for the mark CHI for electric hair curling irons and electric hand-held dryers. FSI also has several other applications pending including CHI for hair coloring preparations, CHI NANO for various hair irons, CHI for hair care products, and ULTRA CHI for electric hand-held hair dryers. FSI has been using the CHI mark since 2001 (according to its first registration) in the promotion of its products to the hair care industry.

FSI is suing Johnson to stop him from selling hand held electric hair irons bearing the CHI registered trademark, but which FSI claims are counterfeit and do not originate from FSI. Defendant sells his products through eBay. Click here to see his eBay Store. He sold a CHI Hair Straightening Iron as recently as 8:33 am today (October 24, 2007) – see eBay Item # 150164617820. You can also see a list of his recent CHI-related transactions by viewing his feedback here (no negative feedback to date – unless you count this lawsuit).

FSI alleges trademark infringement and unfair competition under both Section 32 (15 U.S.C §1114) (unauthorized use of a registered trademark) and Section 43 (15 U.S.C §1125) (use of a trademark in such a manner likely to cause confusion as the source of the goods). FSI also alleges trademark infringement and unfair competition under Texas common law and trademark dilution under the Texas Anti-Dilution Act (Tex. Bus. & Com. Code § 16.29).

In addition to seeking injunctive relief to stop Johnson from selling these allegedly counterfeit CHI products, FSI is also seeking actual and consequential damages, profits, treble damages, and costs and attorney’s fees.

So, based on a review of this complaint, FSI’s otherlawsuits are likely to be of a similar nature – FSI seeking relief in federal court against eBay sellers (and other online sellers) of knock-off CHI products.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great article!! All entrepreneurs and business owners need to be actively policing and protecting their names and brands! It is great to have a trademark... it is even better to be actively protecting owns trademark against copy cats!