On April 1, 2014, Select Management Resources, LLC of Alpharetta, Georgia (“Select”) filed a complaint against Title Credit Acceptance, LLC of Duluth, Georgia (“Title”) alleging state and federal trademark and trade dress infringement and dilution, wrongful business practices, unfair competition, and false advertising.
According to the complaint, Select owns the federally-registered “Loan Max” trademark (Reg. No. 3,084,648) and performs management functions for various title-loan lending companies that are licensed to use the “Loan Max” mark. Through these lending companies, Select operates in, among other locations, at least four states in which Title also does business: Arizona, Georgia, Missouri, and South Carolina.
The dispute arises through Title’s alleged use of “Loan Max” and “LoanMax” as Google Adwords. Google Adwords is a keyword-triggered online advertising program that generates a sponsored links section at the top of a Google search results page. In this way, entities may buy the right to have specific words facially incorporated into the language of their sponsored link.
The complaint alleges Title intentionally acquired the right to incorporate the keywords “Loan Max” and “LoanMax” into the language of their link. Thus, the first result of any internet user’s Google search using the words “Loan Max” or “LoanMax” would allegedly be Title’s sponsored link. According to the complaint, Title’s sponsored link reads “LoanMax – Turn your Title into Fast Cash – titlecredit.com.” (Emphasis in original).
Select seeks preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, profits derived from unlawful conduct, actual damages, trebling of actual damages, exemplary and punitive damages, fees, and costs.
The case is Select Management Resources, LLC v. Title Credit Acceptance, LLC, Case No. 1:14-cv-00963-MHS in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, and is assigned to Judge Marvin H. Shoob.