ST. LOUIS — A trademark infringement case was filed by Carshield against AutomotiveGuarantee.com, companies that are in the business of marketing and selling vehicle service contracts that cover mechanical breakdowns.
Carshield's parent company NRRM claims in the suit that it has federal registration for the marks "Carshield" and "Carshield.com," and common law rights that go with those marks, and has expended considerable resources in building its brand in the vehicle service contract market.
But after it adopted its Carshield brand, AutomotiveGuarantee.com allegedly began using "Car Shield," "Shield Car" and "Shield Your Car" in headings and in ads on internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, according to the suit filed in federal court in St. Louis on Oct. 31.
NRRM claimed that the defendant also began using "carshield" in its URL link displayed in the text of the advertisement, even though it redirects to a different URL.
"These advertisements infringe on NRRM’s trademarks in the vehicle service contract industry, are likely to confuse consumers, and has resulted in damages to NRRM and diminished its goodwill and reputation," the suit stated.
The suit also alleged that the defendant referred to its vehicle service contracts in ads as "extended auto protection," "used car warranty," "extended auto warranty," extended auto protection," "top-rated car warranties," and more.
"Defendant’s use of ‘warranty’ and similar language to refer to vehicle service contracts violates various state and FTC regulations prohibiting use of the term 'warranty' to refer to vehicle service contracts," the suit stated.
The complaint claimed violations of federal law under the Lanham Act as well as trademark infringement and unfair competition under Missouri statutory and common law.
NRRM sought a permanent injunction against the defendant’s use of SHIELD together with CAR and any other designation confusingly similar to NRRM’s trademarks. NRRM also sought monetary damages resulting from the defendant’s use, an accounting of the defendant’s profits gained from such use, NRRM’s attorneys’ fees and costs, and punitive damages.
NRRM is represented by attorney Jeffrey Kass of Lewis Brisbois in Denver.