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Homeland Housewares, LLC v. Euro-Pro Operating LLC

United States District Court, C.D. California

November 5, 2014

HOMELAND HOUSEWARES, LLC, a California LLC; NUTRIBULLET, LLC, L a California LLC, Plaintiffs,
v.
EURO-PRO OPERATING LLC, a Massachusetts LLC, Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFFS' FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND [Dkt. No. 24]

DEAN D. PREGERSON, District Judge.

Presently before the court is Defendant Euro-Pro Operating, LLC's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint. Having considered the submissions of the parties, the court grants the motion in part and adopts the following order.

I. Background

Plaintiffs Homeland Housewares, LLC and Nutribullet, LLC (hereinafter collectively referred to as "Homeland") and Defendant Euro-Pro Operating, LLC ("Euro-Pro") are both in the home blender market. (First Amended Complaint ("FAC") ¶¶ 4&6, Dkt. No. 12.)

Plaintiffs sell several single-serving blenders under its BULLET line of products, including the NUTRIBULLET, the NUTRIBULLET SPORT, and the NUTRIBULLET PRO. (FAC ¶ 4, Exs. 2&4, Dkt. No. 12.) Plaintiffs allege that they have spent several hundred million dollars in advertisements for these products, including investing in infomercials. (Id.)

Defendant sells a competing single-serving blender called the NUTRI NINJA that competes with Plaintiffs' NUTRIBULLET line of products. (Id. at ¶ 6, Ex. 2.) Plaintiffs take issue with the product packaging for the NUTRI NINJA. (Id.) Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that Defendant duplicated "the color scheme, fonts, phraseology, and overall look and feel of Plaintiff's NUTRIBULLET packaging trade dress." (Id.) Moreover, NUTRI NINJA's packaging compares the NUTRI NINJA to the NUTRIBULLET line regarding several features in the form of a chart ("Chart"). (Id.)

Plaintiffs also allege that Defendant planted "false reviews on the Internet, making false claims of defects in NUTRIBULLET blenders and touting the NUTRI NINJA as a superior alternative." (Id. at ¶ 9.)

On May 22, 2014, Plaintiffs filed the Original Complaint seeking damages and injunctive relief for false advertising under both federal and state statutes, trade dress infringement, trade libel, and unfair competition. (Dkt. No. 1.) These claims are based primarily on NUTRI NINJA's packaging. (Id.) On July 3, 2014, Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint. (Dkt. No. 12.)

In this motion to dismiss, Defendant seeks to dismiss all of Plaintiffs' claims with prejudice under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), arguing that Plaintiffs fail to state plausible claims.

II. Legal Standard

A complaint will survive a motion to dismiss when it contains "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). When considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a court must "accept as true all allegations of material fact and must construe those facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Resnick v. Hayes , 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000). Although a complaint need not include "detailed factual allegations, " it must offer "more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 678. Conclusory allegations or allegations that are no more than a statement of a legal conclusion "are not entitled to the assumption of truth." Id . at 679. Even under the liberal pleading standard of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), under which a party is only required to make a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, " a "pleading that offers labels and conclusions' or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'" Id . 678 (quoting Twombly , 550 U.S. at 555).

III. Discussion

A. False Advertising Claim

Because Defendant has withdrawn its motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' false advertising claims as to NUTRI NINJA's packaging, (Reply at 2:1-5), the Court considers the motion to dismiss solely as to Plaintiffs' ...


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