Hyundai Construc. Equip. U.S.A., Inc. v. Chris Johnson Equip., Inc., No. 06 C 3238, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Oct 21, 2008) (Leinenweber, Sen. J.).

Judge Leinenweber, having previously granted plaintiff summary judgment of Lanham Act unfair competition and deceptive trade practices,* enjoined defendant’s continued sale of gray market goods and use of plaintiffs’ trademarks and awarded plaintiffs damages and costs.  The Court awarded plaintiffs defendant’s profits from sales of gray market construction equipment (equipment made abroad for sale abroad that was imported to the United States without authority for resale), but the Court held that awarding plaintiffs a multiple of defendant’s actual damages would be inappropriately punitive.  Additionally, the Court gave defendant an opportunity to prove its costs before entering a final damages amount. 

The Court also entered a permanent injunction.  The Court, however, denied plaintiffs’ request that defendant have to provide plaintiffs and the Court a report proving defendants’ compliance with the injunction.  Such a requirement was unduly burdensome.

Finally, the Court awarded plaintiffs their costs, but held attorney’s fees were not appropriate because the case was not exceptional.  Among other reasons the case was not exceptional, the Court noted evidence that defendants "apparent pains" to warn customers that defendants’ products lacked a warranty and came from overseas.  And the Court held that no actual confusion had yet been proven.

*  Click here for the prior decision in the Blog’s archives.