A substantial trademark judgement against a Kansas-based marketing firm was awarded May 6, 2016, to Marten Transport LLC, a trucking company headquartered in Wisconsin with truck drivers operating throughout the United States.
In a decision issued in the US District Court for the District of Kansas, a jury awarded Marten $3.25 million in damages for trademark infringement, unfair competition, and more. Presiding District Court Judge John W Lungstrom immediately reduced the award by $750,000 to $2.5 million; however, the plaintiff and defendant will present motions to the court within the next several weeks regarding the remainder of the verdict.
At issue in the case was whether PlattForm Advertising Inc, a business that used to market Marten’s open trucking jobs on the Internet, had used Marten’s name and trademarks without authorization on its websites after Marten had terminated its relationship with the company and after sending a cease-and-desist letter in 2013.
PlattForm owns and operates various websites that advertise open truck driver positions on behalf of commercial trucking companies and allows interested persons to submit applications. Those websites include a number of separate sites advertising for truck driving positions, one of which PlattForm had recently acquired and on which Marten had previously posted jobs.
For several years, Marten engaged the services of those websites where it paid a monthly fee to advertise its job openings. Marten then received applications through the websites. However, once Marten terminated its relationship with PlattForm, the company no longer had Marten’s permission to use its logos or other trademarked information on its websites. Even after being notified, PlattForm continued to use Marten’s trademarked logos and after presenting its case to the jury in Kansas, the jury agreed that PlattForm had damaged Marten economically through its trademarks violation.
On behalf of Marten, the case was argued by DeWitt Ross & Stevens attorneys Harry Van Camp and Chase Horne. Much of the pretrial preparation and trial support was led by attorney John Gardner from DeWitt’s Madison WI office and paralegal Susan George.
More information is available at www.dewittross.com.