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Paleteria La Michoacana, Inc. v. Productos Lacteos Tocumbo S.A. de C.V.

United States District Court, District of Columbia

November 1, 2012

PALETERIA LA MICHOACANA, INC. et al., Plaintiffs, Counter-Defendants
v.
PRODUCTOS LACTEOS TOCUMBO S.A. DE C.V., Defendant, Counter-Claimant.

Ana-Maria Ignat, G. Brian Busey, Rosemary S. Tarlton, William A. Christopher, Morrison & Foerster, LLP, San Francisco, CA, for Plaintiffs, Counter-Defendants.

Steven Michael War, McNeely, Hare & War LLP, Washington, DC, Stephen L. Anderson, Anderson & Associates, Temecula, CA, for Defendant, Counter-Claimant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

DENYING THE DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER

RUDOLPH CONTRERAS, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Both parties in this matter claim the exclusive right to sell their products using

Page 55

similar images: namely, a stylized drawing of a young girl in traditional Mexican clothing holding an ice cream cone. The defendant now seeks a preliminary injunction to prevent the plaintiffs from infringing upon its trademarks during a convention for ice cream distributors and vendors which will soon take place in Miami, Florida. Because the defendant has not shown that it will suffer any irreparable harm absent injunctive relief, the court will deny its motion.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Factual and Procedural Background

The plaintiffs, Paleteria La Michoacana, Inc. (" PLM, Inc." ) and Paleteria La Michoacana, LLC (" PLM LLC" ), are closely related companies that produce and distribute ice cream bars known as " paletas," which find their origin in the state of Michoacán, Mexico. The defendant, Productos Lacteos Tocumbo S.A. de C.V., is a Mexican company that operates in the same industry. The parties own several trademarks that are used in connection with their respective businesses. To illustrate the similarity between the parties' marks, two of the controverted marks are displayed below. On April 6, 2004, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (" USPTO" ) issued to the defendant Registration No. 2,830,401, a trademark which appears as follows:

(Image Omitted)

On February 20, 2007, the USPTO issued to the plaintiffs Registration No. 3,210,304, a ...


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