Plaintiff Vinyl Technologies, Inc. (“Vinyl”) filed a complaint against Laser Mechanisms, Inc. (“Laser”), seeking a declaratory judgment that its products do not infringe Laser’s trademark. Laser responded with counterclaims and a third-party complaint. Pending a hearing on a motion for preliminary injunction, the Court entered a temporary restraining order prohibiting Vinyl from using the mark at an upcoming trade show. The Court further advised the parties that it is interested in hearing evidence of irreparable harm at the upcoming hearing.
While an earlier motion for preliminary injunction was under advisement, Laser moved for a temporary restraining order related to an upcoming trade show. The Court cited the familiar four-part test for a temporary restraining order: (1) likelihood of success on the merits, (2) irreparable harm in the absence preliminary relief, (3) the balance of equities, and (4) the public interest. The Court then emphasized that the movant’s likelihood of success is the key issue and, to demonstrate a likelihood of success, Laser must show that it is likely to satisfy its burden on the two elements of its infringement claim—that is, that its mark merits protection and that the allegedly infringing use is likely to result in consumer confusion.
Without much analysis, the Court granted the motion and enjoined Vinyl and the third-party defendant from displaying or distributing marketing materials with the mark at issue during an upcoming trade show. The Court also ordered Vinyl to take down references to the mark that were already on the trade show’s website.
In reaching this decision the Court noted that requests for injunctive relief require a Court to make determinations regarding credibility and that, in light of the misdirection in the written submissions, the Court resolved all issues of credibility in Laser’s favor.
The Court then scheduled an additional hearing on the pending motion for preliminary injunction and specifically requested testimony regarding irreparable harm. It made specific note of the lack of settled law regarding whether irreparable harm is presumed in a trademark-infringement claim after eBay Inc. v. MercExchange,LLC, 547 U.S. 388 (2006).