SAN DIEGO — A Santa Barbara-based nonprofit cat sanctuary has filed suit against a similarly named nonprofit based in Florida and three individuals, alleging that organization's name and trademarks have been copied by the Florida group.

ResQcats Inc. filed a complaint Aug. 2 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California against ResQCats of Florida Inc., Jeanine Cohen, Lynn D'Ovido and Tara Pisano, alleging federal trademark infringement, false designation of origin and other counts.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that dating back to 1996, ResQcats Inc. began using the two trademarks incorporated in its name and was granted federal trademark registrations for the marks. But the plaintiff claims the defendants are using the mark to advertise and solicit donations for their organization. The plaintiff is unable to ascertain the full extent of the monetary damages that it has suffered or is likely to suffer by reason of the defendants’ acts, the suit states.

The plaintiff holds ResQCats of Florida Inc., Jeanine Cohen, Lynn D'Ovido and Tara Pisano responsible because the defendants allegedly, deceptively and unfairly marketed or advertised their organization and services and have received donations under trademarks that are confusingly similar to the plaintiff’s marks.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment against the defendants for damages to be proven at trial, disgorgement of the defendants' profits, injunctive relief, asset freeze or constructive trust, destruction of the infringing articles, costs of suit and such other and further relief as the court may deem satisfactory. It is represented by Kent M. Walker of Lewis Kohn & Walker LLP in San Diego.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California case number 3:16-cv-01949

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