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Illinois Attorneys Obtain Summary Judgment in Trademark Infringement and False Advertising Case

Chicago attorneys Cole G. Dunnick and Inessa S. Holly successfully obtained summary judgment in a federal trademark infringement and false advertising case in November 2021 on behalf of an employment and staffing agency client in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.

Plaintiff, another employment and staffing agency, filed a three-count complaint against our client alleging intentional trademark infringement, false advertising and violations of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA).

Plaintiff’s ACPA claim was dismissed with prejudice pursuant to FRCP 12(b)(6). Our attorneys moved for summary judgment as to plaintiff’s trademark infringement and false advertising claims. Cole and Inessa argued there was no likelihood of consumer confusion due to the lack of reasonable similarity between the two trademarks, the different service offerings of the parties despite both being employment and staffing agencies, the weakness of plaintiff’s mark and the lack of any admissible evidence of actual confusion.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana fully agreed with our attorneys, granting their motions to exclude plaintiff’s claimed evidence of actual consumer confusion. The Court also found no likelihood of consumer confusion, finding seven of the likelihood of confusion factors weighed in our client’s favor. The Court also granted our client summary judgment as to plaintiff’s false advertising claim.

Cole’s national litigation practice includes products liability, complex commercial litigation, professional malpractice, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death and toxic tort defense. He is currently national counsel for a major consumer goods manufacturer for products liability and toxic tort matters. Cole is the managing partner of Litchfield Cavo LLP’s Chicago office.

Inessa is an associate attorney in our Chicago office. She defends insureds, contractors and tradesmen, as well as manufacturers and distributors in actions alleging personal injuries or property damage. Her litigation practice focuses on personal injury, construction negligence, wrongful death and toxic tort defense.