N.D. Ga.

Georgia-based Flooring Company Sues Ex-Franchisee for Trade Secret Theft and Trademark Infringement

Floorcoverings International, Ltd. v. Keding et al., Civil Case No. 1:22-cv-02545-CAP (N.D. Ga. June 24, 2022)

Plaintiff Floorcovering International, Ltd. (“FCI”) filed suit against Tim Keding, Bryan Keding, and Keding Corporation on June 24, 2022 in the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta Division) asserting claims of (1) violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act under 18 U.S.C § 1839; (2) he Georgia Trade Secrets Act, O.C.G.A. § 10-1-760, et seq. and the California Trade Secrets Act, codified at Cal. Civ. Code §3426, et seq., (3) misappropriation of trade secrets, (4) conversion, (5) trademark infringement under the Lanham Act, (6) false representations and false designation of origin under 15 U.S.C. §1125(a), (7) common law infringement, (8) unfair competition, (9) breach of contract, (10) accounting, and (11) attorneys’ fees.

According to the Complaint, Plaintiff FCI is an international franchisor who offers soft and hard flooring products and window treatments and, in connection with its business, owns the federally-registered marks “Floor Coverings International,” “Floor Coverings International/The Flooring Store at Your Door,” and “FCI.” Defendants, the Complaint alleges, are former FCI franchisees who, after deciding not to renew their franchise agreement with FCI, now operate a competing business (“KFloors”/“Kedding Corporation Flooring”) using FCI’s marks, FCI’s confidential and proprietary systems, FCI’s trade secrets, and FCI’s customer lists and accounts. This case has been assigned to Judge Charles A. Pannell Jr.

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