In a decision issued October 22, 2013 in re “Florida Importa S.A. v. Mercado Libre S.R.L. - Preliminary Injunction” (case No. 814/2013) Division 1 of the Federal Court of Appeals on Civil and Commercial Matters confirmed the district court’s decision which had dismissed the precautionary measure seeking a) the seizure of the bank accounts and/or assets in financial entities in the name of the users of Mercado Libre identified in the plaintiff’s request; b) the attachment and seizure of all the products associated with the “BURTON” trademark which were in possession of said users; and c) the immediate removal from Mercado Libre’s website of all advertisement which belonged to the users associated to the mentioned trademark.
The plaintiff claimed its condition of exclusive distributor in Argentina of the products manufactured by The Burton Corporation and argued that the advertisement and sale of products through Mercado Libre’s website affected its exclusive rights.
The district court dismissed the preliminary injunction because the plaintiff was not the owner of the trademarks at stake. The distribution agreement stated that the plaintiff had a limited license to use the trademarks for advertising purposes in Argentina and that neither party represented the other.
The Court of Appeals confirmed this decision on the basis that the exclusive distribution agreement only involved some of the marks the plaintiff wanted to remove from Mercado Libre’s website and because the analysis of certain issues in said agreement (third parties violations of exclusive distributorship rights, the existence of a “grey” market, etc.) exceeded the appropriate scope of a preliminary injunction.
Thus, in this case the fact that the plaintiff was the exclusive distributor was not enough to warrant a preliminary injunction.