Lighting products-supplier American DJ is suing Wal-Mart and four other companies for violating the Lanham Act, which covers federal trademark law, and the California Business and Professions Code.
Filed in the US District Court Central District of California, the suit alleges that the five companies used the "American Audio" trademark in advertising and promoting audio products that were not made by or affiliated with either American DJ or its American Audio brand. According to American DJ, the five firms "intentionally, continuously and wrongfully advertised, distributed and/or sold audio equipment... using the American Audio mark since 2009."
In addition to Wal-Mart Stores, DBL Distributing, V2GO Technology, American Audio Laboratory and Laser Karaoke (also known as Karaoke Jukebox and Karaoke Warehouse) are named as subjects in the case.
American DJ brought the suit against the five companies after they failed to comply with a request made in January, 2010 to stop using the American Audio trademark.
"Our client has worked very hard and invested a great deal of expertise and creative energy into building the American Audio brand," said Kenneth L. Sherman, of Myers Andras, Sherman LLP, counsel for American DJ. "We intend to protect our client's positive image with consumers by vigorously challenging not only those who make products that infringe on American DJ's brands, but on the distributors who handle these products and the retailers who sell them. They are all wrongfully trading on American DJ's goodwill. This is why Wal-Mart Stores and DBL Distributing are included in this suit. American DJ wants to send a clear message to distributors and retailers that if you sell products bearing American DJ's trademarks, those products must come from the American DJ Group of Companies."
In addition to seeking a "monetary reward in the amount of the defendants' profits due to their unjust enrichment" as a result of the trademark infringement, American DJ is asking the court to award it statutory damages, monetary rewards to cover attorney fees and other compensation.
American DJ is also requesting that the court restrain the five companies from using the American Audio trademark and compel them to destroy all products, labels, literature and advertising bearing the American Audio trademark.
Formed in 1985, the Los Angeles-based American DJ Group started as a supplier of lighting products to mobile entertainers and has grown into a diversified global enterprise comprising American DJ, Elation Professional Lighting, Acclaim Lighting, American Audio and Global Truss. Collectively, these companies provide lighting, audio and staging products for nightclubs, discos, mobile entertainers, bands, concert tours, theatre productions, TV shows, cruise ships, churches, trade shows and architectural applications.