N.D. Ga.

Unique Sports Products, Inc. Gets an Ace, Scores Favorable Final Judgment Related to its Tennis Ball Hopper Product’s Design

Unique Sports Products, Inc. v. Xiamen Andigo Sports Equipment Co. Ltd, Civil Action No. 1:22-cv-01348 (N.D. Ga. June 22, 2022):

Plaintiff Unique Sports Products, Inc. filed suit against Defendant Xiamen Andigo Sports Equipment Co. Ltd. on April 6, 2022 in the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta Division) asserting claims of (1) false designation of origin and unfair competition under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a), (2) common law trade dress infringement, (3) violation of Georgia’s Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Action under O.C.G.A. § 10-1-372, and (4) attorneys’ fees and expenses under O.C.G.A. § 13-6-11. The case was assigned to Judge Steven D. Grimberg.

According to the Complaint, both parties compete in the U.S. tennis products market. Plaintiff Unique alleges that Xiamen intentionally copied Plaintiff’s unique ball hopper design to design its own tennis ball hopper. Namely, the Complaint states that Xiamen’s ball hopper product is a “knock off design” of Plaintiff’s since Xiamen’s ball hopper is also primarily plastic with metal handles, features a rectangular design with four separate pieces on the front and back (each of which has 12 long oval slots and 4 shorter oval slots), two wheels on the bottom of the front facing side that also includes an image of the brand name in the middle, both a top and bottom opening which only include two bars extending the entire length of the device, a decorative center featuring the logo or name plate, and the only color other than white or black is yellow. A comparison of Plaintiff Unique’s (left) and Defendant Xiamen’s (right) ball hopper products is depicted below. Plaintiff Unique states in its Complaint that, despite notifying Xiamen that its product infringed upon the trade dress of Unique’s tennis ball hopper product, Xiamen rejected such and continued to sell its products online.

Ex. F to Complaint

On June 21, 2022, the parties – having agreed to resolve this case – moved for the Court to order the entry of consent final judgment and permanent injunction. Defendant announced that it had stopped manufacturing, marketing, offering for sale, and selling ball hopper products accused on infringing Plaintiff’s trade dress, and has specifically removed products from Amazon. The Court granted the parties’ motion on June 22, 2022, thereby ordering and decreeing that Plaintiff owns all rights in the trade dress associated with its ball hopper product, Defendant infringed on Plaintiff’s trade dress, and permanently enjoining and prohibiting Defendant from manufacturing, marketing, offering to sell, or selling ball hopper products in the United States (or via online retailers) that incorporate Plaintiff’s trade dress. In reaching final judgment, the Court proceeded to dismiss and close the case.  

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