Internet Trademark Case Summaries
Medline Indus., Inc. v. Medline Products Co.
2004 U.S. Dist. Lexis 12741 (N.D. Ill. July 8, 2004)
Plaintiff sued defendant for trademark infringement, cybersquatting, unfair competition, and dilution. Plaintiff sold medical gloves under the registered mark MEDLINE and promoted them at its “medline.com” website. According to plaintiff’s complaint, defendant made and exported medical gloves into the United States and promoted them at its “medline-pro.net” website. Also according to the complaint, defendant advertised and sold on its website nine types of gloves that were identical in type and color to plaintiff’s. The court, in an earlier action, granted plaintiff’s motion for default judgment due to defendant’s failure to respond to the complaint. The court awarded plaintiff $100,000 in statutory damages, but denied the more than $18 million in claimed profits, treble damages and prejudgment interest that plaintiff requested. And based on plaintiff’s allegations in the complaint that the infringement was deliberate, the court awarded attorney’s fees. At issue in this decision is the $45,492.27 in attorney’s fees and costs requested by plaintiff. The court found that the hourly rate of $150.00 for paralegals and law clerks was excessive, and allowed a rate of $125.00, noting that no information was submitted regarding the education, training, or experience of the law clerks and paralegals. The court also reduced a few hours of attorney time researching the court’s voluntary Lanham Act mediation program, and did not allow any attorney’s fees for the time plaintiff spent on its unsuccessful effort to obtain $18 million in damages. Finally, the court limited the award of fees to only those incurred between inception of the case and granting of the default judgment. With these adjustments, the court awarded plaintiff $35,510.26 in attorney’s fees and costs.