ATLANTA (April 22, 2016) – Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP (SGR) is pleased to announce that the firm’s client, the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry (the National Grange), a national non-profit fraternal organization promoting the economic and political well-being of the community and agriculture, has recently prevailed in two federal trademark litigation actions involving its rights in its name and trademark “Grange.”
In the District Court for the Eastern District of California, Judge William B. Shubb issued a 39-page decision on April 20, 2016 granting the National Grange a broad injunction and awarding attorney’s fees, holding that an unauthorized former state affiliate of the Grange known as the “California State Grange” and conducting business as CSG “has willfully and deliberately continued to deceive the public by infringing” the National Grange’s name, and has defied previous court orders in a willful manner.” The court held that CSG’s actions, including its claim to be the “former California State Grange,” continued use of “Grange” in the course of conducting its business, and its references to the history and goodwill of the California State Grange render this an “exceptional case” under U.S. trademark law, justifying an award of attorney’s fees for the National Grange’s motion for an injunction as well as an earlier motion for contempt.
The court’s injunction follows an award of summary judgment on its claims for trademark infringement and unfair competition in July 2015, which resulted in an order prohibiting further use of the name “Grange” in September 2015. The court’s new order requires the defendant to remove “Grange” from all corporate registrations and documents filed with any federal, state or local government; prohibits the defendant from claiming a shared history and goodwill with the authorized California State Grange, prohibits the defendant from conducting any business using the name “Grange,” and requires the defendant to affirmatively remove the name “Grange” from “all public telephone and business directory listings, on the internet or otherwise.”
In the District of New Jersey, Judge Esther Salas granted default judgment in favor of the National Grange, finding that the National Grange is entitled to a permanent injunction against defendants Westwood Partners, LLC and Brian Powell based on breach of contract, federal trademark infringement, unfair competition and false designation of origin, and counterfeiting. The ruling requires that defendants cease all use of the name “Grange,” including changing the name of its “Grange Restaurant” in Westwood, New Jersey, ceasing use of the restaurant’s website and social media pages, and modifying all advertising and restaurant goods to remove all uses of the name “Grange.”
About The National Grange
The National Grange, founded in 1867, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, fraternal organization that advocates for rural America and agriculture. The National Grange is part of more than 2,100 hometowns across the United States. For more information, visit www.nationalgrange.org.
About Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP
SGR is a full service, international law firm that advises regional, national and global businesses on a wide range of legal matters. The firm’s 200 attorneys provide legal counsel in more than 45 specialized practice areas, including corporate transactions, litigation, intellectual property, aviation, banking, construction and employment law. Founded in 1893, SGR has offices in Atlanta, Austin, Jacksonville, New York, Washington, D.C. and Frankfurt, Germany.