Va. Indus. Plastics Inc. v. Cabinet Saver LLC

This suit arises from the name “cabinet savers,” which the parties both use to refer to plastic liners designed to protect kitchen sink cabinets and other surfaces from water damage. Both parties manufacture products of this description. The plaintiff has registered a trademark for use of the “Cabinet Saver” mark.

Contrary to the plaintiff’s argument, this matter can’t be resolved purely on the pleadings as presently filed. The defendant has denied numerous factual allegations in the complaint, some related to whether the defendant’s use of the mark has or is likely to cause confusion among customers. Denial of these assertions bars the court from granting judgment on the pleadings.

The defendant has also asserted a number of affirmative defenses, including that the plaintiff knew about the defendant’s use of the mark and attempted to hijack it in order to cause customer confusion, harming the defendant. These facts, while insufficient to support an assertion of fraud in the procurement, are sufficient to support the defense of unclean hands. With at least one affirmative defense minimally supported, judgment on the pleadings is inappropriate.

Motion for judgment on the pleadings denied.

Va. Indus. Plastics Inc. v. Cabinet Saver LLC, No. 5:18cv119, Apr. 11, 2019. WDVA at Harrisonburg (Urbanski).

Categories: U.S. District Court - Western District of Virginia

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