Internet Trademark Case Summaries
Mattel, Inc. v. Antelman
2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1261 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 29, 2002)
Plaintiff, the California-based manufacturer of HOT WHEELS collectible toy cars and owner of the HOT WHEELS trademark, was awarded a default judgment on its federal trademark claims when the defendant failed to respond to plaintiff’s suit brought in the Southern District of New York. Defendant, a California resident, used the “hotwheelsauction.com” domain name for his HOT WHEELS auction website. Defendant discontinued use of the domain name after receiving plaintiff’s cease-and-desist letter but refused to transfer the name to plaintiff. The court set aside the default judgment because defendant discontinued use of the domain name and plaintiff apparently was not harmed by defendant’s default, but it did continue the injunction against defendant’s use of the HOT WHEELS mark. At issue in this decision was defendant’s motion to dismiss the case or to transfer it to the Central District of California where both parties resided. The court denied defendant’s motion to transfer, despite the fact that plaintiff’s only contact with the New York forum was its trademark-enforcement office. According to the court, it could easily resolve the case on a motion for summary judgment without requiring defendant’s presence or any live witnesses in New York. Should the court deny a motion for summary judgment by plaintiff, however, defendant was free to renew his motion to transfer.