United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
RED RIVER BANCSHARES, INC., ET AL.
RED RIVER EMPLOYEES FEDERAL CREDIT UNION
MAGISTRATE JUDGE HORNSBY
MAURICE HICKS, JR., CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
the Court is Defendant Red River Employees Federal Credit
Union’s (“Defendant”) Motion to
Dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6). See Record Document 27.
Plaintiffs Red River Bancshares, Inc.
(“Bancshares”) and Red River Bank, LSCB
(“RRB”) (collectively “Plaintiffs”)
oppose the motion. See Record Document 31. For the
reasons set forth below, Defendant’s Motion is
GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.
and its licensee, RRB, are Louisiana entities engaged in
banking and financial services throughout Louisiana.
See Record Document 26 at 1–2. Since 1999,
Bancshares, through RRB, has used the service mark “RED
RIVER BANK” in connection with its banking services.
Id. at 2. 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.
is the owner of United States Trademark No. 2, 418, 600 for
“The Red River Logo” issued on January 9, 2001.
Id. Bancshares is also the owner of United States
Trademark No. 4, 586, 878 for the mark “RED RIVER
BANK” issued on August 19, 2014. Id. at
2–3. Bancshares also owns a Louisiana Trademark for
“Red River Bank” and corresponding logo. See
id. at 3.
traditionally provided credit union services in and around
the Texarkana, Texas and Texarkana, Arkansas areas and did
not provide services in Caddo or Bossier Parish. See
id. Around 2008, Defendant adopted the “Red River
Credit Union” logo. Id. Prior to 2017,
Plaintiffs and Defendant coexisted in their respective
markets without confusion among their members, customers, or
the general public. See Id . However, on October 2,
2017, Defendant purchased branches from the now liquidated
Shreveport Federal Credit Union, including branches in Caddo
and Bossier Parish. See id. Since that time,
Defendant has been operating branches in Caddo and Bossier
Parish. See id. Plaintiffs allege that Defendant is
targeting members and potential members in the same
geographical areas served by RRB, and that Defendant is aware
of Bancshares and/or RRB’s longstanding use of RED
RIVER BANK in connection with banking services in Louisiana.
See id. at 4.
original complaint asserted the following claims against
Defendant: (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
Louisiana Revised Statutes Section 51:211 et seq.;
and (4) Louisiana unfair trade practices under the Louisiana
Unfair Trade Practices Act (“LUTPA”), La. R.S.
51:1401 et seq. See Record Document 1. Defendant
responded by filing a Motion to Dismiss. See Record
Document 11. Therein, Defendant argued that Bancshares is the
exclusive owner of the trademark in question and that RRB, a
mere licensee of Bancshares, lacks standing to assert claims
under either the Lanham Act or Louisiana’s trademark
infringement statute. See id. In addition, Defendant
argued that as a federally insured financial institution, it
is exempt from the LUTPA pursuant to Louisiana Revised
Statutes Section 51:1406(1). See id.
responded by filing an Amended Complaint that removed their
LUTPA claims. See Record Document 13 at 6. Further,
the Amended Complaint asserted that RRB is the
“exclusive licensee” of Bancshares. Id.
at 2. On the same day, Plaintiffs also filed an opposition to
Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, arguing that as an
exclusive licensee, RRB has standing to assert trademark
claims. See Record Document 14 at 1. RRB also
contends that as an exclusive licensee of Bancshares, it
should be allowed to remain in the litigation as a
co-plaintiff with Bancshares. See id.
Defendant filed a reply brief asserting that its Motion to
Dismiss was not moot because the Amended Complaint contained
the same defect as the original complaint-RRB’s lack of
standing. See Record Document 15 at 3. In the
Court’s previous Memorandum Ruling regarding this
motion, the Court denied the Motion to Dismiss and ordered
Plaintiffs to file a Second Amended Complaint with the
licensing agreement attached in order for the Court to
determine whether RRB has standing as an “exclusive
licensee.” Record Document 24 at 8. Plaintiffs later
complied with this order by filing its Second Amended
Complaint with the agreement attached, see Record
Document 26, after which Defendant refiled its Motion to
Dismiss, see Record Document 27.
March 12, 2019, after granting an unopposed Motion for Oral
Argument filed by Plaintiffs, the Court held a motion hearing
on Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss regarding several
issues raised in the parties’ briefing. See
Record Document 34 at 1; see also Record Document
LAW AND ANALYSIS
Pleading and 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss Standards
8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs the
requirements for pleadings that state a claim for relief,
requiring that a pleading contain “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” The standard for the adequacy of complaints
under Rule 8(a)(2) is now a “plausibility”
standard found in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and
its progeny. 550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007). Under this
standard, “factual allegations must be enough to raise
a right to relief above the speculative level . . . on the
assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true
(even if doubtful in fact).” Id. at
555–56, 127 S.Ct. at 1965. If a pleading only contains
“labels and conclusions” and “a ...