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GoFresh, LLC v. G.O. Corporation I

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

March 28, 2018

GOFRESH, LLC
v.
G.O. CORPORATION I

         SECTION: “H” (3)

          ORDER AND REASONS

          JANE TRICHE MILAZZO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 10). For the following reasons, the Motion is GRANTED IN PART.

         BACKGROUND

         GoFresh, LLC (“GoFresh”) is a wholesale food distribution company that rebranded itself in 2009 from Tulsa Fruit Company to GoFresh. GoFresh registered the domain name <gofreshusa.com> in March 2009. Defendant G.O. Corporation is a processor of fresh fruits and vegetables and the holder of the G.O.FRESH trademark.

         In November 2003, Patricia Greene, CEO of Defendant, filed a trademark application for the G.O.FRESH mark based on her intended use of the mark in commerce. The application was denied based on the likelihood of confusion with another mark. Greene appealed this determination, but the appeal was dismissed in April 2009 for failure to file an appeal brief.

         Unaware of Defendant, Plaintiff began using the GOFRESH mark in commerce on June 1, 2009. Thereafter, it received a cease and desist letter from Defendant claiming it was infringing on Defendant's trademark rights. Because Defendant's trademark application had been abandoned, Plaintiff applied to register the GOFRESH mark on July 2, 2009. On August 4, 2009, Plaintiff brought a federal lawsuit against Defendant seeking a declaration that its use of the GOFRESH mark was lawful[1]

         On August 31, 2009, Greene petitioned to reinstate her G.O.FRESH mark application and ultimately assigned that application to Defendant. The petition to reinstate the application contained a sworn statement that the appeal brief had been timely mailed. Defendant registered the mark G.O.FRESH on October 4, 2011.

         On September 28, 2016, Defendant filed a Uniform Domain Name Registration Policy (“UDRP”) action against Plaintiff seeking transfer of the <gofreshusa.com> domain name from Plaintiff to it. On December 1, 2016, the National Arbitration Forum (“NAF”) issued a non-binding decision ruling in Defendant's favor and ordering that the domain be transferred from Plaintiff to Defendant.

         In this action, Plaintiff seeks an order staying the transfer of the <gofreshusa.com> domain to Defendant and declaring its use of the name lawful. It also seeks an order cancelling Defendant's U.S. Trademark for the mark G.O.FRESH. Defendant has filed the instant Motion to Dismiss, arguing that Plaintiff's claim is premature and that it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must plead enough facts “to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.”[2] A claim is “plausible on its face” when the pleaded facts allow the court to “draw reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”[3]A court must accept the complaint's factual allegations as true and must “draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor.”[4] The court need not, however, accept as true legal conclusions couched as factual allegations.[5] To be legally sufficient, a complaint must establish more than a “sheer possibility” that the plaintiff's claims are true.[6] If it is apparent from the face of the complaint that an insurmountable bar to relief exists and the plaintiff is not entitled to relief, the court must dismiss the claim.[7] The court's review is limited to the complaint and any documents attached to the motion to dismiss that are central to the claim and referenced by the complaint.[8]

         LAW AND ANALYSIS

&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;A. Reverse Domain ...


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