Before 2017

EPIC Battle Launched Between Flooring Companies Over Trademark Infringement

On August 21, 2014, Shaw Industries Group, Inc. (“Shaw”), a Georgia corporation, and Columbia Insurance Company (“Columbia”), a Nebraska corporation, brought a trademark infringement action against Carlisle Wide Plank Floors Inc. (“Carlisle”), a Delaware corporation, in the Northern District of Georgia.  The complaint asserts claims for trademark infringement, unfair competition, deceptive trade practices, cybersquatting (for the domain, and trademark dilution.  The complaint discloses that Shaw and Columbia are commonly owned by Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., and have common interest in the issues presented.

Shaw, according to the complaint, is a worldwide leader in the carpet, rug, and flooring industry and has been using the mark EPIC under license from its sister company, Columbia, for “engineered wood flooring,” (Reg. No. 3,469,556) since 2006.  Carlisle stands accused of using a virtually identical or confusingly similar mark for an identical or virtually identical product.  The complaint alleges that Carlisle failed to desist in use of the mark after receiving demand letter dated June 18, 2014.
Shaw and Columbia attached an exhibit showing Carlisle’s use of EPIC on its website, a portion of which is reproduced below:

Shaw’s use of EPIC on its website is pictured below:

Shaw and Columbia seek a preliminary and permanent injunction, a finding of liability, damages, treble damages, interest, costs, and reasonable attorney fees.

The case is Shaw Industries Group, Inc., and Columbia Insurance Company v. Carlisle Wide Plank Floors Inc., No. 4:14-cv-00216-HLM, filed 08/21/14 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Rome Division, and assigned to U.S. District Judge Harold L. Murphy.

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