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Otter Products LLC v. Ace Colors Fashion, Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

August 21, 2014

OTTER PRODUCTS LLC; TREEFROG DEVELOPMENTS, INC. d/b/a LIFEPROOF, Plaintiff,
v.
ACE COLORS FASHION, INC.; ELECTRONICOS; SHAYNA'S CELL PHONE ACCESSORIES; VANESSA ACCESSORIES; DOES 1-10, inclusive, Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING APPLICATION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST DEFENDANT ELECTRONICOS [60]

OTIS D. WRIGHT, II, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiffs Otter Products, LLC ("OtterBox") and Treefrog Developments, Inc., dba LifeProof ("LifeProof") discovered that Defendant Electronicos was selling unauthorized goods bearing Plaintiff's registered trademarks. Plaintiffs filed suit. Despite proper service, Electronicos failed to answer or otherwise respond to this litigation. The Court Clerk entered default, and Plaintiffs moved for default judgment on their trademark claim.

For the reasons discussed below, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's Application for Default Judgment against Defendant Electronicos and awards OtterBox and LifeProof a total of $45, 000.00 in statutory damages along with a permanent injunction against Electronicos.[1] (ECF No. 60.)

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

OtterBox is a Colorado limited-liability company with its principal place of business in Colorado. (Compl. ¶ 1.) OtterBox is a leading retailer and distributor of protective cases and accessories for portable electronic devices, e.g., iPhones, iPads, and Kindle readers. ( Id. ¶¶ 15, 16.) The company and its various products have received local and national consumer awards and have garnered extensive media coverage. ( Id. ¶¶ 18, 19.) OtterBox is the exclusive owner of federally registered and common-law trademarks ("OtterBox Mark"). OtterBox has spent considerable resources in developing consumer recognition of and goodwill towards its brand. ( Id. ¶ 21).

Plaintiff Treefrog Development, Inc. dba LifeProof ("LifeProof") is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in California. ( Id. ¶ 2.) LifeProof is also a leading designer, manufacturer, distributor, and seller of protective cases and accessories for electronic mobile devices, e.g., iPhones and iPads. ( Id. ¶ 23.) LifeProof is the exclusive owner of federally registered and common-law trademarks, including Registration No. 4, 057, 201 for "LIFEPROOF" ("LifeProof Mark"). ( Id. ¶¶ 25, 26.) LifeProof has spent considerable resources developing consumer recognition through national and international marketing and the development of trade dress and copyrighted material. ( Id. ¶ 25.)

On October 17, 2013, the Plaintiffs' investigator Joseph Perez visited Electronicos at two separate locations: 936 South Maple Street, Suite #20, Los Angeles, and 1000 South Maple Avenue, Suite #7, Los Angeles. (Perez Decl. ¶ 2, Ex. 2.) At the first location, Perez identified approximately 25 LifeProof cases on display, and he procured one "orange LifeProof fre case" for $25.00. ( Id. Ex. 2.) At the second location, Perez identified approximately 40 LifeProof cases on display and he procured one "red LifeProof fre case" for $20.00 after some haggling. ( Id. ) Said cases were later inspected by Plaintiffs and determined to be counterfeit products. ( Id. )

On January 7, 2014, Plaintiffs filed this action against Electronicos and several others under eight alternative theories of relief, including federal trademark infringement. (ECF No. 45.) Electronicos was served with a Summons and Complaint on January 20, 2014. (ECF No. 11.) Electronicos was again served with a Summons and Complaint on March 14, 2014, with personal service on Pedro Perez, the person-in-charge at Electronicos. (ECF No. 26.) The Court noted that Plaintiffs did not properly serve Electronicos under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(e). (ECF No. 52.). On June 20, 2014, Plaintiff's reserved Electronicos. (ECF No. 53.) On July 24, 2014, the Clerk subsequently entered default against Electronicos. (ECF No. 57.) Plaintiffs' Application for Entry of Default Judgment is now before the Court for decision. (ECF No. 60.)

III. LEGAL STANDARD

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b) authorizes a district court to grant default judgment after the Clerk enters default under Rule 55(a). Local Rule 55-1 requires that the movant submit a declaration establishing (1) when and against which party default was entered; (2) identification of the pleading to which default was entered; (3) whether the defaulting party is a minor, incompetent person, or active service member; and (4) that the defaulting party was properly served with notice.

A district court has discretion whether to enter default judgment. Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089, 1092 (9th Cir. 1980). Upon default, the defendant's liability generally is conclusively established, and the well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint are accepted as true. Televideo Sys., Inc. v. Heidenthal, 826 F.2d 915, 917-19 (9th Cir. 1987) (per curiam) (citing Geddes v. United Fin. Grp., 559 F.2d 557, 560 (9th Cir. 1977)).

In exercising its discretion, a court must consider several factors, including (1) the possibility of prejudice to plaintiff; (2) the merits of plaintiff's substantive claim; (3) the sufficiency of the complaint; (4) the sum of money at stake; (5) the possibility of a dispute concerning material facts; (6) whether the defendant's default was due to excusable neglect; and (7) the strong policy underlying the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure favoring decisions on the merits. Eitel v. McCool, 782 F.2d 1470, 1471-72 (9th Cir. 1986).

IV. DISCUSSION

The Court finds that all of the Eitel factors weigh in favor of granting default judgment. The Court therefore awards ...


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