Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

AWGI, LLC v. Atlas Trucking Company, L.L.C.

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

July 3, 2019

AWGI, L.L.C.; Atlas Logistics, Inc.; and Atlas Van Lines, Inc. Plaintiffs,
v.
Atlas Trucking Company, L.L.C.; Atlas Logistics, L.L.C.; and Eaton Steel Bar Company, Inc., Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER REGARDING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

          SEAN F. COX, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         This 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 7.1(f)(2).

         The 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.

         BACKGROUND

         This is 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”).

         Plaintiffs 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 it.

         Both 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).

         As to 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.

         Of the 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.

         The Court also concluded that the dismissal of Plaintiffs' trademark infringement claims necessitated the dismissal of their corresponding counterfeiting claims.

         Now, 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.

         ANALYSIS I. Standard

         Motions for reconsideration are governed by Local Rule 7.1(h)(3), which provides:

(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.

         A 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 ruling.

         Again, 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.

         II. The Issue Raised in the Court's Supplemental Briefing Order

         The 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 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.