Lawyers representing US supermarket chain Trader Joe’s have filed a complaint in California against decentralized exchange company Trader Joe’s.
In an October 5 lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Trader Joe’s and its co-founder Cheng Chieh Liu sued Trader Joe’s and its co-founder Cheng Chieh Liu for federal trademark infringement and dilution claims. According to the lawsuit, Trader Joe’s and Liu used several of the supermarket’s themes, from “wearing a red hat” — prominent red features in the store’s branding — to narrating one of the platform’s fictional characters.
“Defendants committed fraud to conceal the origin story and to circumvent international legal proceedings with Trader Joe’s over the domain name, knowing that the true story would prevail over their case and any reasonable claim to the right to use the traderjoexyz.com domain,” the lawsuit states. lawsuit.
“Trader Joe’s sent the defendants cease and desist letters demanding that they stop using the name ‘Trader Joe’,” the lawsuit says. “Long after Trader Joe’s was required to cease, Defendants continued to leverage the Trader Joe’s name, goodwill, and brand recognition—accumulated through Trader Joe’s investment over more than half a century—to sell their goods and services.”
The store’s lawyers point to Trader Joe’s using “confusingly similar” names on the exchange’s website, YouTube page, Reddit, GitHub, LinkedIn, Substack, CoinMarketCap, Telegram and Discord. Within the content of some of these accounts, according to the lawsuit, Trader Joe’s using the possessive form of its name — i.e., “Trader Joe’s” — matches the “exact word mark” registered as a trademark of the department store chain.
“Most courts use seven or eight different factors to evaluate and determine whether there is infringement in a particular case,” trademark and copyright attorney Michael Keys told Cointelegraph. “Commodity correlation is just one factor. […] One of them: similarity of signs. Here you have Trader Joe’s and Trader Joe’s. For all intents and purposes, they are identical, at least in the way they look.
Keyes added that he believes Trader Joe’s has a stronger case, as the company has a well-known trademark in the United States, which could result in an injunction against Trader Joe’s forcing the platform to stop using its name. According to the attorney, the dilution claim in this case could also be something to pay attention to, as it tends to focus on protecting famous and well-known trademarks.
“I think both claims are very strong. I think mitigation is probably stronger.” […] For mitigation, you do not have to prove that the goods are related to each other. The caveat is that in order to claim dilution, you have to show that your brand is really well-known, which means widespread recognition among American consumers.
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Lawsuits involving trademark infringement arise from time to time between cryptocurrency companies and companies operating in a completely different sector. In 2021, major US fast food chain Jack in the Box filed a lawsuit against cryptocurrency exchange FTX US – currently in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings – over alleged similarities between the “Moon Man” character and the company’s mascot “Jack”.
Trader Joe’s opened its first store in California in 1967 and has more than 500 locations across the United States. In contrast, Trader Joe’s is one of the best decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges, allowing liquidity providers to add liquidity in designated “price boxes” to improve capital efficiency. Cointelegraph reached out to Trader Joe’s for comment but did not receive a response at press time.
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