United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
AWGI, L.L.C.; Atlas Logistics, Inc.; and Atlas Van Lines, Inc. Plaintiffs,
Atlas Trucking Company, L.L.C.; Atlas Logistics, L.L.C.; and Eaton Steel Bar Company, Inc., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER REGARDING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION
F. COX, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
matter is currently before the Court on Plaintiffs'
Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's March 25, 2019
Opinion and Order on the parties' cross-motions for
summary judgment. Because the Court concludes that oral
argument will not aid the decisional process, the Court will
decide the motion on the parties' briefing. Local Rule
Court will grant Plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration
to the extent that it will reinstate Plaintiffs'
trademark infringement claims (Counts I through IV) and one
counterfeiting claim (Count VI) against Atlas Trucking
Company, Defendant Logistics, and Eaton Steel. The Court
concludes that there is a genuine issue of material fact as
to whether Defendants' use of “Atlas
Trucking” causes a likelihood of confusion with
Plaintiffs' “Atlas” marks, and that there is
a genuine issue of material fact as to which party has
priority to the mark “Atlas Logistics.” The Court
will also set a final pre-trial conference for
August 5, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
a trademark case about the use of a stylized “A”
and the terms “Atlas, ” “Atlas Logistics,
” and “Atlas - - the Agent's Van Line.”
The plaintiffs are Atlas Van Lines (a household moving
company), Atlas Logistics, Inc. (a logistics management
service) ("Plaintiff Logistics"), and AGWI, L.L.C.
(the holding company for Van Lines and Plaintiff Logistics).
The defendants are Eaton Steel Bar Company (a steel
manufacturer) and its affiliated trucking and logistics
companies, Atlas Trucking Company, L.L.C., and Atlas
Logistics, L.L.C. (“Defendant Logistics”).
alleged four counts of trademark infringement under the
Lanham Act, two counts of trademark counterfeiting under the
Lanham Act, and one count of common law unfair competition.
Defendant Logistics counterclaimed against Plaintiff
Logistics and AWGI for one count of unfair competition and
false designation of origin under the Lanham Act, and one
count of common law unfair competition. Defendant Logistics
also sought a declaratory injunction, pursuant to § 1119
of the Lanham Act, stating that Plaintiffs' trademark in
“Atlas Logistics” was improperly registered and
directing the Commission of Patents and Trademarks to cancel
sides moved for summary judgment. On March 25, 2019, the
Court issued an Opinion and Order, wherein it granted summary
judgment in favor of Defendants on Plaintiffs' claims,
dismissed Defendants' common law unfair competition
counterclaim, and concluded that there was a genuine issue of
material fact underlying Defendants' Lanham Act
counterclaims. (ECF No. 90).
Plaintiffs' trademark infringement claims, the Court
applied the eight Frisch factors, and concluded
Although some of the above factors favor a finding of a
likelihood of confusion, the Court concludes that there is no
likelihood of confusion because (1) “Atlas” is a
weak mark, (2) Plaintiffs and Defendants provided different
services to different customer bases, (3) there is only one
documented instance of actual consumer confusion after years
of simultaneous use by Plaintiffs and Defendants, and (4) the
parties' customers are sophisticated and tend to exercise
great care in making decisions.
eight Frisch factors, the Court found that four
favored a finding of no likelihood of confusion, two favored
a finding of a likelihood of confusion, and two favored
neither. The Court concluded that this balance did not
establish a likelihood of confusion.
Court also concluded that the dismissal of Plaintiffs'
trademark infringement claims necessitated the dismissal of
their corresponding counterfeiting claims.
Plaintiffs have filed a motion for reconsideration of the
Court's March 25, 2019 Opinion and Order. (ECF No. 96).
Defendants responded. (ECF No. 100). After Defendants'
response, the Court concluded that supplemental briefing was
needed on the following issue:
Given that the parties conceded that their common usage of
“Atlas Logistics” causes a likelihood of
confusion, does the Court's conclusion that there is a
fact issue as to who has priority to the “Atlas
Logistics” mark (ECF No. 90, PageID 3769-3770) require
the survival of not only Defendants' Lanham Act
Counterclaims, but also Plaintiffs' Count II?
(ECF No. 103). Both sides filed supplemental briefing.
for reconsideration are governed by Local Rule 7.1(h)(3),
(3) Grounds. Generally, and without restricting the
court's discretion, the court will not grant motions for
rehearing or reconsideration that merely present the same
issues ruled upon by the court, either expressly or by
reasonable implication. The movant must not only demonstrate
a palpable defect by which the court and the parties and
other persons entitled to be heard on the motion have been
misled but also show that correcting the defect will result
in a different disposition of the case.
motion for reconsideration does not afford the movant an
opportunity to present the same issues that have been already
ruled on by the Court, either expressly or by reasonable
implication. Nor does a motion for reconsideration afford the
movant an opportunity to make new arguments that could have
been, but were not, raised before the Court issued its
in order to grant a motion for reconsideration, Plaintiffs
must demonstrate a palpable defect by which the Court has
been misled and must also show that
correcting the defect will result in a different disposition
of the case.
The Issue Raised in the Court's Supplemental Briefing
Court will first address the issue that it identified in its
order for supplemental briefing, because that issue, alone,
requires a different disposition of this case. At summary
judgment, the parties conceded that their common usage of
“Atlas Logistics” resulted in a likelihood of
confusion. Thus, Plaintiffs' infringement claims related
to “Atlas Logistics” turn on who has priority to
that mark. Among other things, Plaintiffs argued that, by
virtue of tacking, they had priority. The Court concluded
that there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether
an ordinary consumer would consider ...