Chinese Counterfeiters Told to Knock It Off

     LAS VEGAS (CN) – Chinese counterfeiters of Toyo Tires never showed up in court, so a federal judge fined them $300,000 and ordered them to knock off the knockoffs.
     U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey granted Toyo Tire & Rubber’s motion for default judgment, permanently enjoined Toyomoto from using Toyo’s marks, and granted Toyo the maximum $300,000 in statutory penalties plus interest.
     “Despite being properly served while in Las Vegas and having both a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction entered against it, Toyomoto has never appeared in this case,” Dorsey wrote in the Monday ruling.
     Toyo and two of its U.S. subsidiaries in November sued Japan Toyomoto Tire Corp., Toyomoto (Beijing) International Trading Co., both of China; Toyomoto Tire (US); and Kabusikiki Tokyo Nihoon Rubber Corp., of Japan. (Article:
     Toyo sought a permanent injunction and damages for trademark counterfeiting, infringement and dilution, cybersquatting and unfair competition.
     Toyo distributes its tires through a network of 2,000 independent tire dealerships. It owns a dozen U.S. trademarks and sells more than 4.7 million tires per year in the United States.
     It claims the defendants piggyback on Toyo’s name and reputation and that the Chinese companies began using the Toyo marks in 2010, on tires, website domain names and social media sites, in which Toyomoto “highlights the word Toyo, further increasing the likelihood of confusion and damage to Toyo.”
     It accused Toyomoto and its subsidiaries of planning to advertise and sell infringing products at the Equipment Market Association Show on Nov. 4-7, 2014 at Las Vegas Convention Center.
     Las Vegas trade shows have become popular venues for Chinese companies to push knockoff products. Several lawsuits have been filed for it, and injunctions issued, sometimes in the middle of the trade shows.
     Dorsey granted Toyo’s request for a preliminary injunction in December after the defendants failed to show at a hearing.
     She ordered U.S. marshals to seize specific items from Toyomoto’s trade show booth, including banners, display and promotional items, and any products with infringing marks, during the annual SEMA Show in November.
     Toyo was represented by Michael McCue with Lewis, Roca and Rothgerber, who was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

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