Dawn Donut Co. v. Hart's Food Stores, Inc.

267 F.2d 358 (1959)

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Dawn Donut Co. v. Hart’s Food Stores, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
267 F.2d 358 (1959)

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Facts

Dawn Donut Co. (Dawn) (plaintiff) was a wholesale distributor of mixes for making doughnuts and other baked goods. Dawn had a federally registered trademark for “Dawn” and “Dawn Donut.” Dawn granted a license to certain retail bakeries to use Dawn’s trademarks when selling goods baked using Dawn’s mixes. Grocery chain Hart’s Food Stores, Inc. (Hart) (defendant) sold doughnuts in its stores, all of which were located near Rochester, New York. Hart, which did not know of Dawn’s trademark, began using the mark “Dawn” on its packaging. Dawn sued Hart for trademark infringement, asking the court to enjoin Hart’s use of the “Dawn” mark. Hart argued that because Dawn had not licensed use of the mark to any retail bakeries in the Rochester area for over 30 years, Dawn did not have an exclusive right to use the mark in that area. Hart also counterclaimed, seeking to cancel Dawn’s registration for Dawn’s inadequate control of licensees’ use of the mark. At trial, evidence showed that Dawn’s local sales representatives sometimes inspected licensees’ operations. The district court dismissed both the complaint and the counterclaim, finding that Dawn was not entitled to injunctive relief and that Dawn’s registration was not subject to cancellation. Both parties appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lumbard, J.)

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