Trademark Attorneys For Professional Photographers’ Association Sued A Competitor For Infringement Of USPTO Registered Trademarks “Image USA” and “Image Expo” Used For Trade Show Services

Los Angeles, CA – Trademark attorneys for Professional Photographers of America, Inc. filed a trademark infringement and unfair competition lawsuit at the Federal District Court in Los Angeles, alleging infringement of Professional Photographers’ USPTO registered trademarks for Imaging USA and Imaging Expo. The complaint states that since 1999, Professional Photographers has used the Imaging USA trademark for trade shows in the field of professional photography and has used the Imaging Expo trademark since 2004 for trade shows.

photograph-trademark-copyright-imaging.jpgPlaintiff asserts that Defendant “Rangefinder intends to use the designation World Imaging Expo for tradeshows in the field of professional photography” and that Plaintiff became aware of the competing tradeshow when it discovered a copy of the World Imaging Expo convention program guide. Professional Photographers also discovered that Rangefinder had filed an intent-to-use trademark application with the USPTO. Professional Photographers asserts that it sent a cease and desist letter to Rangefinder over the use of the World Imaging Expo trademark, but Rangefinder refused to withdraw its pending trademark application or stop using the trademark. Thus the complaint was filed asserting causes of action for federal trademark infringement under 15 U.S.C. § 1114, false designation of origin and false representation under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a), and unfair competition under California common law and statutes. The case is titled Professional Photographers of America, Inc. v. Rangefinder Publishing Co., CV08-02324 SVW (C.D. Cal. 2008).

PRACTICE NOTE: A proposed trademark does not have to be identical to another party’s previously registered or used trademark in order to prove infringement. If there is going to be a “likelihood of confusion” between the two trademarks, a Court will enjoin the junior trademark owner’s use of the “confusingly similar” trademark. For example, the trademark Red Shield for insurance services was held to be confusingly similar with the previously registered Blue Shield® trademark.