Landstar awarded $6 million in ‘egregious’ trademark case
March 15, 2019
Calling it an “exceptional and egregious case,” a U.S. district court in New York awarded $6 million in statutory damages to Landstar Systems for trademark violations.
U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto ordered on March 13 for American Landstar Logistics, American Landstar Motor Trans, and American Landstar Transport to pay $2 million each. Landstar, a trucking company based out of Jacksonville, Fla., filed a lawsuit in 2015, alleging federal trademark infringement, unfair competition and false designation of origin. The three trucking companies are based out of Staten Island, N.Y.
Judge Matsumoto disagreed with a previous opinion that recommended damages of about $375,000.
Tax returns that showed about $7 million in gross profits from 2010 until 2016 factored into Judge Matsumoto’s decision to give Landstar the maximum award.
“The goal of deterring similar conduct generally requires a significant award,” Matsumoto wrote.
In addition, the court said the defendants’ conduct was “consistently willful.”
In May 2017, the court granted Landstar’s summary judgement. A few months later, the court ordered a permanent injunction enjoining defendants from further use of the name American Landstar, any other name that incorporates “Landstar” or “Roadstar,” and any other name involving a combination of the words “Land” and “Star” or “Road” and “Star.”
Landstar first served American Landstar a cease-and-desist letter in November 2011.
In addition to statutory damages, the court awarded Landstar attorney fees and costs.
“The court adopts Magistrate Judge Scanlon’s recommendation for an award of attorneys’ fees and costs as this is an exceptional and egregious case,” Matsumoto wrote. “The court granted plaintiff’s summary judgment motion and found that defendants infringed plaintiff’s marks willfully and in bad faith.”