Chrome Hearts LLC v. Partnerships & Unincorporated Assocs. Identified on Schedule A, No. 15 C 3491, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Sep. 9, 2015) (Kendall, J.).
Judge Kendall denied a third party’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 24 motion to intervene in this trademark dispute regarding plaintiff Chrome Hearts’ CHROME HEARTS trademark. The Court previously entered a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) freezing certain PayPal accounts that were allegedly being used to sell products that infringed the CHROME HEARTS marks. As an initial matter, the Rule 24 motion was timely because it was filed within a month of when the third party’s PayPal account was frozen.
Although his motion was timely, the third party failed to show the required protectable interest in the suit. The third party was operating a different business selling products that did not use and had no connection to the CHROME HEARTS marks. But the third party loaned his account to a friend who allegedly committed the accused acts. Because of that, the third party had no relation to the trademark claims. All he had was a monetary claim against the accused party. A monetary claim against a party related to the suit is not a direct connection, rather it is a “betting interest.”
Additionally, resolution of this suit would not impair the third party’s ability to protect his interests. The third party could still file a suit to recover his losses from the defendant whom borrowed his account to commit the accused acts. And while the defendants would not adequately represent the third party’s interests, that is a result of the third party’s tangential relation to the case.
The Court also refused to exercise permissive intervention pursuant to Rule 24(b) because the third party’s claims did not share common questions of law or fact with the trademark claims in suit.