Los Angeles, CA – Trademark attorneys for SATA GmbH, a German corporation, filed a trademark infringement, Lanham Act 43(a) unfair competition, and false advertising lawsuit, at the Los Angeles Federal District Court, to prevent internet based sales of its paint spray tools/guns. Sata owns numerous USPTO registered trademarks in addition to unregistered common law trademarks. SATA’s paint spray tools have been used in auto repair body shops, the automotive industry, and the wood-working industry for more than 23 years.
Dan-Am is an independent company that is the exclusive authorized importer and sole initial distributor of SATA products in the United States. “Through Dan-Am, SATA-designed and manufactured products are ultimately made available to warehouse distributors and jobbers and through such distributors and jobbers to end customers.” SATA asserts that it can maintain better supervision and quality control over its products because authorized distributors “are required by their contracts with Dan-Am to participate in a specified minimum of instructions and training activities involving the safe use and maintenance of SATA products. . . The internet cannot displace the individual services offered through the Authorized Distributor program.”
SATA alleges that Defendants use the SATA trademarks on their numerous websites to sell, without authorization, SATA’s paint spray tools on the Internet “by approaching Authorized Distributors for the purpose of obtaining SATA products for Internet resale.” The Defendants are also accused of engaging “in the wholesale copying of copyrighted photographs and text found at sata.com for the purpose of having material to support their unauthorized sales free of charge.” The complaint accuses the following websites of infringement: spraygunworld.com, toolparadise.com, spraygunindustry.com, mytoolchest.com, discounttoolsnthings.com, tptoolworld.com, airbrush4less.com, tptoolbox.com, and uniqueuniverse.com. The case is titled SATA GmbH & Co. KG, et al. v. David Nakatsu, et al., CV08-0560 ODW (C.D. Cal. 2008).