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I Scream, You Scream, as Trademark Fight Melts

MIAMI (CN) - A Florida ice cream company cannot prove it would be harmed if a competing business with a similar trademark attends a conference in Washington, a federal judge ruled.

Paleteria La Michoacana filed for a temporary injunction against Productos Lacteos Tocumbo SA DE CV, banning them from using its trademark at the International Association of Ice Cream Distributors and Vendors, which runs through Thursday.

Both parties have the exclusive rights to sell their products using similar drawings of a young girl in traditional Mexican clothing, holding an ice cream cone.

Paleteria claims it does not intend to sell its products at the convention but will attend the event to network and share innovations.

Since both companies attended the convention last year in Las Vegas, and Paleteria did not seek a retraining order then, it can not prove irreparable harm would occur at the event this year, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras found.

Paleteria also made little effort to explain why this year's event warrants an injunction, the court said.

Most participants are not Florida based and the event is closed to the public. Because of this, the court has little reason to believe either company would suffer injuries due to their attendance.

Finding that Paleteria has not demonstrated that it would suffer irreparable harm, the court refused to enter an injunction Thursday.

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