Battle of the Midway wrestling tournament founder granted judgment after defendants failed to participate

By Elizabeth Alt | Jun 12, 2018

SAN DIEGO – Left Coast Wrestling LLC was granted judgement in its suit over allegations a former partner of the company took its trademarked name Battle of the Midway used for youth wrestling tournaments and created his own wrestling tournament.

SAN DIEGO – Left Coast Wrestling LLC was granted judgement in its suit over allegations a former partner of the company took its trademarked Battle of the Midway name used for youth wrestling tournaments and created his own wrestling tournament.

Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes granted a motion for permanent injunction, attorney’s fees and default judgment to Left Coast on May 23, noting the defendants’ “failure to respond to discovery, appear for deposition, or otherwise meaningfully participate in the either the discovery process or comply with court’s direction to respond or oppose the plaintiff’s submissions constitutes a failure to plead or otherwise defend…defendants have also ignored at least two orders of this court.”

Left Coast sued Dearborn in 2017, alleging claims of false designation of origin under the Lanham Act, violation of the California business and professions code, common law trademark infringement, conversion, breach of fiduciary duty and declaratory relief.

The order states Left Coast formed the corporation to run a youth wrestling tournament in San Diego that had a final round on the deck of the USS Midway. After the first tournament in 2016, Left Cost alleges Duke Minh Le and Dearborn International LLC formed Tri Titans, and “began promoting a Battle on the Midway tournament on behalf a 'Tri Titans.'”

The court order noted that Dearborn and Le have failed to reply to any of the court orders, noting “the docket reflects no attempt on the part of defendants to file any document of any kind since the motion of their prior counsel to withdraw in July of 2017.”

The plaintiff sought damages for lost profits, attorney’s fees and court costs, to enjoin Dearborn from using Battle of the Midway, and for Dearborn to relinquish any profits made “attributable to defendants’ trademark infringement, rescission of defendant’s pending USPTO trademark application,” according to the order.

Stormes noted that Left Way has established ownership of the trademark, the likelihood of confusion and the claim for false designation, “the timing of the events and use of the plaintiff’s own marketing channels (Facebook and Instagram) provides strong evidence that defendants’ intentionally aimed to confuse consumers into the belief that defendants were the originators of the Battle on the Midway mark and tournament.”

Stormes stated that a permanent injunction was proper, and that, “money damages are 'inadequate' to compensate plaintiff for continuing acts of infringement…Without default judgment, plaintiff would be prejudiced by being left without recourse for the claims alleged.”

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, case number 3:17-cv-00466-LAB-NLS

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