United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
MAURICE HICKS, JR. JUDGE
HORNSBY MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) filed by Defendant Red River
Employees Federal Credit Union (“Credit Union”).
See Record Document 11. Plaintiffs Red River
Bancshares, Inc., (“Bancshares”) and Red River
Bank, LSCB (“RRB”) oppose the motion.
See Record Document 14. For the reasons set forth
below, the Credit Union's Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss
(Record Document 11) is hereby DENIED.
and its licensee, RRB, are Louisiana entities engaged in
banking and financial services throughout Louisiana.
See Record Document 13 at ¶¶ 1-2, 7. Since
1999, Bancshares, through RRB, has used the service mark
“RED RIVER BANK” in connection with its banking
services. See id. at ¶ 8. As such, Bancshares
and RRB assert that the name and service mark “Red
River Bank” have become associated with Bancshares and
RRB by consumers in Louisiana, especially in Caddo and
Bossier Parish. See id. at ¶ 9.
is the owner of United States Trademark No. 2, 418, 600 for
“The Red River Logo” issued on January 9, 2001.
See id. at ¶ 10, Ex. A. Bancshares is also the
owner of United States Trademark No. 4, 586, 878 for the mark
“RED RIVER BANK” issued on August 19, 2014.
See id. at ¶¶ 13-14, Ex. B. Bancshares
also owns a Louisiana Trademark for “Red River
Bank” and corresponding logo. See id. at
¶ 15, Ex. C.
Credit Union traditionally provided credit union services in
an around the Texarkana, Texas and Texarkana, Arkansas area,
and did not provide services in Caddo or Bossier Parish,
Louisiana. See id. at ¶¶ 16, 18. Around
2008, the Credit Union adopted the “Red River Credit
Union” logo. See id. at ¶ 17. Prior to
2017, Plaintiffs and the Credit Union coexisted in their
respective markets without confusion among their members,
customers, or the general public. See id. at ¶
21. However, on October 2, 2017, the Credit Union purchased
branches from the now liquidated Shreveport Federal Credit
Union, including branches in Caddo and Bossier Parish.
See id. at ¶ 19. Since that time, the Credit
Union has been operating branches in Caddo and Bossier
Parish. See id. at ¶ 20. Plaintiffs allege that
the Credit Union is targeting members and potential members
in the same geographical areas served by RRB. See
id. at ¶¶ 23-24. Plaintiffs claim that the
Credit Union is aware of Bancshares and/or RRB's
longstanding use of RED RIVER BANK in connection with banking
services in Louisiana. See id. at ¶ 27.
Original Complaint asserted the following claims against the
Credit Union: (1) trademark infringement under section 32 of
the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. § 1114), (2) unfair
competition under section 43(a) of the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C.
§ 1125(a)), (3) Louisiana trademark infringement under
La. Rev. Stat. 51:211 et seq., and (4) Louisiana
unfair trade practices under the Louisiana Unfair Trade
Practices Act (“LUTPA”), La. Rev. Stat. 51:1401
et seq. See Record Document 1. The Credit Union
responded by filing a Motion to Dismiss. See Record
Document 11. Therein, the Credit Union argued that Bancshares
is the exclusive owner of the trademark in question, and that
RRB, a mere licensee of Bancshares, lacks the standing to
assert claims under the Lanham Act or Louisiana's
Trademark infringement statue. See id. The Credit
Union also argued that as a federally insured financial
institution, it is exempt from LUTPA pursuant to La. Rev.
Stat. 51:1406(1). See id.
responded by filing an Amended Complaint that deletes their
LUTPA claims. See Record Document 13 at ¶¶
39-42. The Amended Complaint also asserts that
RRB is the “exclusive licensee” of Bancshares.
See id. at ¶ 9. On the same day, Plaintiffs
also filed an opposition to the Credit Union's Motion to
Dismiss, arguing that as an exclusive licensee, RRB has
standing to assert trademark claims. See Record
Document 14. RRB also contends that as an exclusive licensee
of Bancshares, it should be allowed to remain in the
litigation as a permissive co-plaintiff pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 20, or compulsory co-plaintiff pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 19. See Id. Plaintiffs conclude their
opposition by requesting that the Court deny the Credit
Union's motion to dismiss as moot. See id.
Credit Union filed a reply brief, which significantly expands
the legal arguments raised in the Motion to Dismiss.
See Record Document 15. Therein, the Credit Union
argues that its motion is not moot because the Amended
Complaint contains the same defect - RRB's lack of
standing. See id. at 3-7. Plaintiffs filed a sur-
reply, which provides additional argument as to why RRB has
standing to remain as a co-plaintiff. See Record
Document 18 at 2-7. The Credit Union responded by filing a
sur-sur-reply, which provides additional argument as to why
RRB lacks standing, even as an exclusive licensee.
See Record Document 23.
Effect of Amended Complaint on Previously Filed Motion to
Amended pleadings generally supersede prior pleadings.
See United States ex rel Curtin v. Barton Malow Co.,
No. 14-2584, 2017 WL 2453032, at *2 n. 5 (W.D. La. June 6,
2017). An Amended Complaint renders the Original Complaint of
no legal effect unless the Original Complaint is specifically
referenced or incorporated into the Amended Complaint.
See King v. Dogan, 31 F.3d 344, 346 (5th Cir. 1994).
The appropriate course of action when a motion to dismiss is
pending against a superseded complaint is to deny the motion
as moot. See Garza-Selcer v. 1600 Pacific Subtenant,
LLC, No. 15-3791, 2016 WL 11474103, at *2 (N.D. Tex.
Aug. 30, 2016); Michael v. Boutwell, No. 14-0116,
2015 WL 728516, at *4-5 (N.D. Miss. Feb. 19, 2015). However,
if a defect in a superseded pleading reappears in an amended
pleading, the court may treat a previously filed motion to
dismiss as if it is directed at the amended complaint.
See Curtin, 2017 WL 2453032 at *2 n. 5.
instance, Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint deletes their
LUTPA claims and changes RRB's relationship with
Bancshares from a “licensee” to “exclusive
licensee.” See Record Documents 1 and 13.
Otherwise, the Amended Complaint is substantially similar to
the Original Complaint. The Amended Complaint does not
incorporate the Original Complaint by reference. The Credit
Union argues that the Amended Complaint contains the same
alleged defect ...