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Lubecore International wins trademark case


November 22, 2013
By Lubecore

November 19, 2013, Campbellville, Ont. — The U.S. Sixth Circuit
Court of Appeals has overturned a lower court’s ruling and
lifted restrictions on Lubecore’s ability to freely market its
complete line of automated lubrication systems for heavy trucks and
off-highway equipment in the United States.

November 19, 2013, Campbellville, Ont. — The U.S. Sixth Circuit
Court of Appeals has overturned a lower court’s ruling and
lifted restrictions on Lubecore’s ability to freely market its
complete line of automated lubrication systems for heavy trucks and
off-highway equipment in the United States.

Rejecting an argument by Groeneveld that Lubecore’s EP-0
grease pump infringed on its trade dress under trademark laws, the
court vacated an injunction that has required Lubecore to sell a
modified version of the pump to customers in the United States since
early 2012. The court then remanded the case to the lower court with
instructions to enter a judgment in favor of Lubecore on all claims.

Trade dress refers to a product’s physical appearance. The
court observed that while the shape of the Lubecore and Groeneveld
pumps is similar, stark differences in labeling, color, and
other aspects of the design mean there is “no
reasonable likelihood” that consumers of automated lubrication
systems would confuse the companies’ products. Indeed, the court
said, Groeneveld admitted it had no evidence of actual confusion on
the part of any customer or prospective customer.

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“One of the judges characterized this dispute as an old-guard
supplier using legal means to try to fend off an upstart
competitor,” said Jan Eisses, Lubecore president and
founder. “While we’re pleased to have prevailed in court,
let’s compete in the marketplace on the strength of our products and
support of our customers.”