LOS ANGELES, CA (PRWEB) June 26, 2012
In February 2012, ProSeries, LLC, a Santa Monica, California based manufacturer of sports medicine equipment, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court, Central District of California against alleged counterfeiters of its popular ice wraps. It seeks injunctive relief and damages for patent, copyright, trademark, and trade dress infringements against Oakland-based company, Total Ice Therapy, owned by Peter Lowenberg, Ventura-based company, EZ Ice Therapy, owned by Brad Smith, and Duluth-based company Pro Therapy Supplies, LLC.
Federal district Judge Manuel Real issued an Ex Parte seizure order based on a finding that the plaintiff had a “likelihood of success” on its claim of trademark infringement. A seizure order, allowing U.S. Marshals to enter a premises, without advance notice, and seize illicit inventory and business documents, is a remedy available in trademark infringement cases. It is based on a congressional finding that counterfeiters will often destroy evidence if they are otherwise notified of the lawsuit.
U.S. Federal Marshals raided these three businesses in early 2012, after plaintiff obtained a seizure and impoundment order in federal court (Case No 2:12-cv-01242-R-VBK). During the raids, the Marshals and ProSeries’ attorneys confiscated approximately 400 counterfeit products from Total Ice Therapy and Pro Therapy Supplies, according to court documents.
Estimates based on a preliminary investigation suggest that the defendants may have imported as many as 70,000 items.
According to its Complaint, ProSeries alleges that Defendants illegally imported replicas of ProSeries ice wraps and packaging, which included the unauthorized use of the PROSERIES registered trademark. The goods are alleged to have originated in Mainland China, Taiwan and Cambodia and were brought in through the port of Oakland, CA.
According to ProSeries’ attorneys, Defendants sold the alleged knock-offs through websites such as eBay, Amazon, and Sears.com, in addition to their own sites. Eventually, they continued to advertise as ProSeries, but unsuspecting customers began receiving other, rebranded products.
ProSeris found out about the alleged counterfeits once they started receiving customer complaints about substandard ”ProSeries” ice wraps purchased from unauthorized third parties.
U.S. Customs estimates that intellectual property theft costs U.S. companies between $200 and $250 billion a year in lost revenue, and has resulted in the loss of at least 750,000 jobs.
ProSeries is represented by MEHTALEGAL, a Santa Monica law firm. The lawsuit was filed in Federal Court in Los Angeles (case number 12-CV-01242).