Friday, October 12, 2007

WHAM-O Wins Partial Victory in Trademark Infringement Lawsuit over Yellow Slip ‘N Slide water slide

Wham-O, Inc. (“Wham-O”) announced today (press release link) that the company received a favorable jury verdict in its trademark infringement case against SLB Toys USA, Inc. (“ToyQuest”) for infringing the Yellow color of Wham-O’s trademark yellow SLIP N’ SLIDE water slides. See Wham-O, Inc. v. SLB Toys USA, Inc., Case 3:2006cv04551.

Wham-O holds two registered color trademarks for its water slides. The primary registration is Reg. 1,432,069 (the mark is the single color Yellow applied to the entire surface of the water slide). The other registration is Reg. 2,924,744 (the mark consists of the color yellow applied to the entire horizontal surface of water slides and the color blue applied to the entire surface of the bumpers for the water slides).

The jury found ToyQuest liable for willful infringement, intentional false advertising, and willful dilution of Wham-O’s trademark yellow water slides and awarded Wham-O $6 million in damages. Wham-O’s proclaimed the verdict as a major victory in the company’s ongoing efforts to prevent others from using its federally registered trademarks to deceive consumers into thinking they are purchasing original WHAM-O products.

The battle between these two companies has apparently been going on for at least a year-and-a-half regarding Wham-O’s Slip 'N Slide and ToyQuest’s BanzaiFalls water slides.

Wham-O's Yellow and Blue Slip 'N Slide

ToyQuest’s BanzaiFalls

Originally, it was ToyQuest who filed a lawsuit on March 6, 2006 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (SLB Toys USA Inc v. Wham-O Inc., Case 2:2006cv01382) claiming Wham-O was guilty of unfair competition and trade dress infringement for marketing and selling knock-off water slides. Wham-O then countered with its own lawsuit alleging that ToyQuest’s BanzaiFalls waterslides used similar yellow and blue colors as one of Wham-O’s yellow and blue Slip 'N Slide water slides, on which Wham-O has the aforementioned registered trademark. Wham-O also alleged that ToyQuest was depicting its orange water slides as Yellow on the packaging despite prior representation to Wham-O that it would not depict its water slides as Yellow in color.

While the verdict may appear to be a defeat for ToyQuest, the company had an announcement (link here) of its own and actually claimed victory for having defeated Wham-O’s attempt to prevent ToyQuest from using the name “Wave Rider” on any products. In addition, ToyQuest was found not to have infringed Wham-O’s yellow-and-blue water slide registered trademark. ToyQuest officials also said the company plans to appeal the verdict over the issue of trademark rights to the color Yellow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting blog!

Would you consider putting a FeedBlitz thing on your blog so people can sign up to be notified when you post a new article?