N.D. Ga.

Trademark, Slander Claims Filed Against Agent of Bed Manufacturer

Serveco North America, LLC v. Denis Bramwell, Civil Action No. 4:22-cv-00140-MLB (N.D. Ga. June 24, 2022)

Plaintiff ServeCo North America, LLC filed suit against Defendant Denis Bramwell on June 24, 2022 in the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta Division) for trademark infringement pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1125, deceptive trade practices pursuant to O.C.G.A. 10-1-372, tortious interference with contract, and slander. The Complaint alleges that Plaintiff and third-party Apex Health Care Manufacturing, Inc. (“Apex”) entered into an oral agreement around 2016 whereby Plaintiff agreed to provide certain warranty services for bed frames manufactured by Apex in exchange for compensation. Under the term of the Agreement, Apex would affix warranty information containing Plaintiff’s trade names and contact information to each bed frame manufactured and distributed by Apex directing retailers and customers to submit warranty claims to Plaintiff. Around July 2020, Defendant, an agent, independent contractor, and/or employee of Apex, informed Plaintiff that the Agreement was terminated, at which point Apex owed Plaintiff over $25,000 pursuant to the terms of the Agreement. On August 4, 2020, Plaintiff sent Apex a cease and desist letter directing Apex to cease affixing Plaintiff’s trade names and contact information to the bed frames and identifying Plaintiff as a resource for customer service associated with warranty claims. The Complaint alleges that Apex ignored Plaintiff’s request and continued to manufacture and distribute beds bearing Plaintiff’s information without compensating Plaintiff. According to Plaintiff, Defendant’s actions are likely to cause confusion, mistake, or to deceive retailers and consumers regarding the relationship between Plaintiff and Defendant/Apex. Indeed, Plaintiff alleges that it has already been contacted, on at least one occasion after Plaintiff sent the cease and desist letter, by retailers and consumers regarding products manufactured by Apex that bear Plaintiff’s trade names and contact information for warranty claims. The Complaint further alleges that Defendant made false statements about Plaintiff to threatened to “influence retailers and consumers to modify, terminate, or forego entering into contracts with Plaintiff,” which resulted in at least one of Plaintiff’s business relationships being terminated. Plaintiff seeks actual and compensatory damages, punitive damages pursuant to O.C.G.A. 51-12-5.1, and attorney’s fees. The case has been assigned to Judge Michael Brown.

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