September 30, 2015, Beaulieu Group,
(“Beaulieu”), a Georgia Corporation, brought a trademark infringement action
against Mohawk Carpet
(“Mohawk”), a Delaware corporation with a principal place of business in
Calhoun, Georgia. The complaint asserts claims for trademark infringement,
false designation of origin and unfair competition (state and federal).
According to the
complaint, Beaulieu is a global company that manufactures and sells a wide
variety of flooring products, including carpet, carpet tiles and luxury vinyl
flooring. Part of Beaulieu’s residential carpet product line is marketed under
its "Bliss by Beaulieu" brand, including its EverClean collection, which is the
mark at issue in this complaint. Beaulieu owns the trademark BLISS BY BEAULIEU
EVERCLEAN (U.S. Reg. No. 4,293,216) and has
applied for the mark EVERCLEAN (collectively, “EVERCLEAN Marks”) and alleges
that these marks are an integral part of the Beaulieu Bliss product line and
overall brand identity.
August 19, 2014, Mohawk sought to register the mark SMARTSTRAND FOREVER CLEAN (App. No.
on an intent-to-use basis. Shortly after, Beaulieu filed an Opposition
Proceeding, which is pending, requesting that the TTAB deny Mohawk’s
registration on the basis of its EVERCLEAN marks. Beaulieu alleges that Mohawk
has since begun to use, and is currently using, the SMARTSTRAND FOREVER CLEAN
mark, which it argues is an attempt to capitalize on Beaulieu’s goodwill and is
further confusing to consumers.
argument is that the marks are not only substantially similar with the use of
words “ever” and “clean”, but because the goods are in the same industry
consumers will likely be deceived as to the association, or lack thereof,
between the brands. Further, Beaulieu cites Mohawk’s advertising strategy as an
additional layer of deception to consumers, as Mohawk states their carpet is
“the perfect carpet for families with kids and pets” and Beaulieu has
advertised their carpet as the “carpet pet owners love to love!” Consumer
confusion is an issue for companies as they typically do not have quality
control over the competitor’s product, even though they may be wrongly associated
with that product.
demanded a jury trial and asked for a permanent injunction restraining Mohawk
from using SMARTSTRAND FOREVER CLEAN or any similar mark, damages, including
attorneys’ fees and costs, as well as punitive damages, to be increased three
times the amount thereof and lastly, a preliminary injunction forbidding Mohawk
from registering or attempting to register the SMARTSTRAND FOREVER CLEAN mark.
Mohawk waived service of the complaint, and its answer is currently due on November 30, 2015.
competitors have another trademark infringement case pending, Beaulieu Group, LLC v. Mohawk Industries,
Inc., No. 4:15-cv-00124-HLM (N.D. Ga.), which was filed in July of 2015.
case is Beaulieu Group, LLC v. Mohawk Carpet
Distribution, Inc., No. 4:15-cv-00184-HLM, filed 09/30/15 in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Rome Division, and
assigned to U.S. District Judge Harold L. Murphy.
Labels: complaint, Judge Murphy, Northern District of Georgia, trademark