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Central Manufacturing, Inc. v. Brett

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
492 F.3d 876 (2007)


Facts

In 1985, Central Manufacturing, Inc. and Stealth Industries (Central) (plaintiffs), which were owned by Leo Stoller, registered “Stealth” as a trade name and mark for a number of different products, including sporting goods. However, Brett Brothers Sports International, Inc. (Brett Brothers) (defendant), which was owned by George Brett (defendant), began selling “Stealth” baseball bats in 1999 and sold more than 25,000 Stealth bats worldwide. In 2001, Central specifically applied to register “Stealth” as a trademark for the use of baseball bats, and Central’s application was granted in 2004. After obtaining trademark protection, Central brought a claim against the defendants for violations of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1051 et seq. The district court granted Brett Brothers’ motion for summary judgment, finding that Stoller and Central could not produce any documents showing a bona fide intent to use the mark “Stealth” in commerce. The district court cancelled Central’s trademark registration of “Stealth” for baseball bats. Furthermore, because of Stoller’s excessive and frivolous use of trademark-infringement litigation, the district court awarded attorney’s fees and defense costs to Brett Brothers. Central appealed the district court’s decision.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Evans, J.)

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