LOS ANGELES, July 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In a landmark ruling, Multi Time Machine, Inc. (MTM), represented by Wolf, Rifkin, Shapiro, Schulman & Rabkin, LLP, obtained a reversal of the district court's summary judgment ruling in favor of online retailer Amazon.com in a trademark infringement action brought by MTM against Amazon.
MTM, manufacturer of MTM Special Ops military style watches, alleged that Amazon infringed its trademarks by displaying its competitors' watches on its search results page in response to a customer's search for "MTM special ops watch," without informing the customer that Amazon does not offer MTM Special Ops Watches for sale.
Reversing the District Court's order granting summary judgment in favor of Amazon, the Ninth Circuit ruled that a reasonable likelihood of confusion could arise from Amazon displaying its results in that manner, and that the District court erred by finding no likelihood of confusion as a matter of law. The Ninth Circuit ruled that there were triable issues of fact as to whether Amazon's results page created initial interest confusion, which occurs not where a customer is confused about the source of a product at the time of purchase, but earlier in the shopping process, if customer confusion creates initial interest in a competitor's product.
"I am very pleased with the Ninth Circuit's ruling," said Eric Levinrad, who briefed and argued the appeal. "This ruling protects trademark holders from their trademarks being unfairly used to generate sales for their competitors, and also protects consumers from being misled in the on-line retail environment."
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