Internet Trademark Case Summaries
Peri Hall & Associates, Inc. v. Elliot Institute for Social Sciences Research
2006 WL 742912 (W.D. Mo. Mar 20, 2006)
Plaintiff, The Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, operated a website at “missouricures.org” to supporting the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative. Defendant, an antiabortion group, operated a website at “elliotinstitute.org” advocating initiatives opposing the views of plaintiffs. Plaintiffs alleged that defendant copied or mimicked the “look, feel, graphics, coding, and photos” of its website and used plaintiff’s trademarks, including MCLC for Missouri Coalition for Life Cures, as metatags. Plaintiffs sued for trademark, trade dress, and copyright infringement. The court granted plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction, finding that defendant copied the “look and feel” of plaintiffs’ website and used plaintiffs’ marks in its metatags and thus demonstrated a “substantial” likelihood of success on the merits. The court also held that plaintiffs would suffer irreparable harm without the injunction; that the harm to the plaintiffs outweighed any potential injury to the defendant in granting the injunction; and that the public interest weighed in favor of issuing the injunction. However, the court did not prohibit defendants from maintaining the elliotinstitute.org website (or any other website), so long as the website did not infringe plaintiffs’ missouricures.org website in any way.