N.D. Ga.

“Live Oak” Contractors Dispute Over Trademark Rights

Live Oak Manors LLC v. Live Oak Contracting, LLC, Civil Action No. 1:22-cv-02147-MHC (N.D. Ga. May 27, 2022)

Plaintiff Live Oak Manors LLC filed suit against Defendant Live Oak Contracting, LLC for trademark infringement, unfair competition and false designation of origin, and deceptive trade practices in the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta Division) on May 27, 2022. Plaintiff Live Oak Manors, a provider of architectural design, landscaping, and construction services, has used the LIVE OAK MANORS mark to advertise its services since at least as early as 2012 and obtained a federal registration for the mark in 2017.

The Complaint alleges that Defendant, who also offers construction, contracting, and architectural design services, has been using the mark LIVE OAK to offer these same services since 2014 despite knowledge that its mark is “confusingly similar” and “identical” to Plaintiffs. Defendant filed a federal trademark application for the LIVE OAK mark in January 2021, which was rejected by the Patent and Trademark Office on July 29, 2021 on the grounds that there was a likelihood of confusion with Plaintiff’s LIVE OAK MANORS mark. Defendant sought to cancel Plaintiff’s registration, arguing that the marks are “identical and/or confusingly similar” and therefore “likely to cause confusion, mistake, and/or deceive consumers.”

The Complaint further alleges that Defendant’s mark is used in connection with the same, or highly related services as Plaintiff’s mark, is offered in the same channels of trade, targets the same class of consumers, and is unauthorized by Plaintiff. Defendant continued to use its mark despite knowing that its mark was likely to cause confusion and, as a result, its infringement is willful. The Complaint asserts four causes of action for trademark infringement under 15 U.S.C. § 1114, unfair competition and false designation of origin under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a), common law trademark infringement pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 10-1-452, and deceptive trade practices under O.C.G.A. § 10-1-372. The Complaint requests injunctive relief, damages, and attorneys’ fees. The case is assigned to Judge Mark Howard Cohen.

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