Sometimes, David really can beat Goliath in court. At least, when the slingshot hits the core of trademark infringement.
Take the case of Ocean City nightclub Seacrets. When a large hotel chain picked the name “Secrets” for luxury resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean, the owners of the Ocean City club left the boardwalk and entered the courtroom. Seeking to stop the hotel chain from using a name quite similar to its trademarked “Seacrets” moniker, the club sought an injunction and damages. Following an eight-day trial in the U.S. District Court for Maryland, a federal jury upheld the club’s trademark, found the hotel chain’s name to be confusingly similar, and hit the chain for $265,000 in punitive damages.
Ultimately, the Court reduced the punitive damage award to $50,000, but issued a permanent injunction to protect Seacrets nightclub from any further infringement. The ruling enables the club’s owners to franchise its business throughout the United States and abroad.
The Coryn Group II, LLC v. O.C. Seacrets Inc.
April 30, 2012