Judge Denies TigerDirect's Request for Injunction

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Original poster
Mar 17, 2004
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http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=1076

A judge has denied a request by computer retailer TigerDirect for a preliminary injunction against Apple Computer over allegations that Apple's nickname for its new operating system, "Tiger," infringes on the retailer's trademarked name.

The ruling was part of a 56 page opinion handed down on May 11th by Judge Joan Lenard of the United States District Court for the District of Florida. After weighing arguments from both sides, the Court found that "there is greater risk of damage to Apple from granting the injunction than any potential harm to TigerDirect from Apple's use of Tiger marks."

In the suit, filed last month, TigerDirect argued that Apple's use of the Tiger name alongside its Mac OS X 10.4 operating system was causing "confusion, mistake and deception among the general purchasing public." Specifically, the retailer contended that Apple's use of the name "Tiger" on the Internet had knocked it from the top of search results on Google, Yahoo and MSN.

TigerDirect's original motion for a preliminary injunction requested the court enjoin Apple from using the term "Tiger" in any matter -- a request that, if fulfilled, could have halted Apple's roll-out of the Mac OS X 10.4 operating system. However, at the May 5th preliminary injunction hearing, TigerDirect narrowed its request and asked the court to bar Apple from using the Tiger mark in any manner except in direct proximity to Mac OS X or Mac OS X 10.4.

To lessen the harm to Apple, the retailer said Apple could still use previously paid for advertising and promotion materials, but requested the Cupertino, Calif-based computer maker cease from using the Tiger mark anywhere on its web site or in any new advertising, signage, or packing; except when pertaining specifically to Mac OS X 10.4.

During the hearing, both parties provided slide presentations as exhibits. Apple also called Philip Schiller, Senior Vice Present of Worldwide Marketing, as a witness. Schiller was reportedly present when Apple selected the "Tiger" nickname for Mac OS X 10.4 and testified that Apple had no intention of trading on the goodwill built up by TigerDirect. He said Apple, over the last several years, had engaged in a practice of naming updates to Mac OS X after large predator cats in order to convey the strength and speed of the operating system.

Apple also entered into evidence a survey that revealed only 6% of consumers associated the name "Tiger" with TigerDirect. Meanwhile, the survey of 517 people showed that only 4 people associated the name "Tiger" with a company -- a result the Court found most interesting. Apple asserted that TigerDirect does not posses a protected family of Tiger marks, as defined by applicable trademark law, nor does it retain a valid Tiger mark for computer goods.

Furthermore, Apple disputed that its own use of 'Tiger' is confusingly similar to TigerDirect's use and provided evidence of over 200 federal registrations of marks containing the term "Tiger" -- including 24 companies, other than TigerDirect, which employ Tiger marks to promote computer products and services.

The Court ultimately sided with Apple, agreeing that TigerDirect was unable to meet the burden of proof necessary for a preliminary injunction to be granted.

"Turning to the overall impression created by the marks, in the context of each party's use thereof, the Court finds that the marks are distinctly different," Judge Lenard wrote in her opinion denying TigerDirect's motion. She said Tiger marks are frequent in the computer industry and that she saw no evidence that Apple adopted the Tiger name in bad faith or that it has caused any confusion in the market place.

And while TigerDirect and Apple share an overlapping consumer base, Judge Lenard said "any given customer who cross-shops TigerDirect and Apple, whether over the internet or in person at their retail local stores, will be able to distinguish their respective retail outlets due to the distinctive differences in their marketplaces' appearance and messages."

According to court documents, over the last year Apple has spent over $50 million to orchestrate a carefully planned marketing campaign and product launch of Mac OS X 10.4.

Whew :D
 

MattG

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2003
3,760
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Asheville, NC
Good for Apple. I've never bought from Tiger, and after this sleazy attempt to extort money from them, I never will.
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Original poster
Mar 17, 2004
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I got front page? :eek: ... :D :D :D :D :D

Thanks Macrumors!

Back on topic...TigerDirect got pwned pretty bad, eh? That judge kicked their rears... :p
 

Mord

macrumors G4
Aug 24, 2003
10,091
21
UK
if i were to fill in a survay like that i'd put down the first thing i would think of as new egg just to rub it in there face :D

also why dosent tigerdirect microsoft for there use of the word direct in directx?
 

jsalzer

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2004
607
0
Lion Power

BornAgainMac said:
Quick! Change your name to Lion Direct so that you can do this again!
I don't know. I think MGM's already sitting pretty on that one. ;)

"But, people might buy the OSX 10.5 box thinking they're purchasing one of our movies!"

I actually have a Panther mouse pad that I - uh - flirted shamelessly with a Best Buy salesman to get - in a picture frame in my office. Most people assume I'm a fan of Malcolm X. The saddest, though, was the Xerox salesman who wanted to know why I had the Xerox logo so prominently displayed. Pretty sad when you don't know your own company's logo!

:)
 

Dr.Gargoyle

macrumors 65816
Oct 8, 2004
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lat: 55.7222°N, long: 13.1971°E
Sirus The Virus said:
Did they actually expect to win?
Well, given that you can get a couple of million dollars because the company didn't specifically emphasized that the coffee was hot... I wouldn't have been very surprised, but I am glad that common sense seem to have prevailed in this case.
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Original poster
Mar 17, 2004
7,091
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This is probably just a silly conspiracy theory but I wonder if MS or ANY major Apple competitor had anything to do with this.

I mean...what good did it do TigerDirect to wait till launch day to request an injunction, when the name was announced last year? It seems to me that they timed to hurt Apple as much as possible rather than to help themselves, since they waited till everyone know Tiger = Mac OS X 10.4 which completely ruins the purpose of the lawsuit.

Maybe Microsoft put them up to it? They've done it in the past with SCO...
[/end conspiracy theory of the week]


Good thing they lost :D
 

l008com

macrumors member
Jan 20, 2004
90
0
I have bought from tiger direct before. I bought an LCD. It was complete junk. I returned it and vowed never to buy from them again. Now I REALLY won't buy from them again.
 

snkTab

macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2004
579
0
Cincinnati, OH
Dr.Gargoyle said:
Well, given that you can get a couple of million dollars because the company specifically didn't emphasized that the coffee was hot... I wouldn't have been very surprised, but I am glad that commonsense seem to have prevailed in this case.
I hope your not refering to the McDonalds case. Sure it's easy to think that if a lady spills hot coffee on her self its her fault. But that's not what the lawsuit was over. The lawsuit was over the fact that McDonalds served coffee at 185 degree average, while other places served coffee at 140 degrees average. Oh and by the way, skins burns at 180 degrees. Meaning that when the coffee reaches the consumers hands it is not consumable. Also noted is that there was also a big movement against McDonalds to have the temp lowered as well as McDonalds knowing of over 700 burn cases. If I spilled coffee on myself, I would expect it to be hot, maybe even burn my skin a little to the point where it would hurt for a while, but I wouldn't expect having third degree burns and skin grafing done.
 

gugy

macrumors 68040
Jan 31, 2005
3,136
3,756
La Jolla, CA
This is a perfect example of how the American legal system is so screw up.
like somebody said in this post, if you can get $2 million because the coffee was hot and the cup did not warned you, so Tigerdirect tried the same thing to make an easy buck.
I am happy they lost. But this might not be the end of it.
The problem in this country is that NOBODY takes responsibility for their acts and rather accuse somebody else for being irresponsible and make a profit from their irresponsibility.
 

Dr.Gargoyle

macrumors 65816
Oct 8, 2004
1,253
0
lat: 55.7222°N, long: 13.1971°E
GFLPraxis said:
I mean...what good did it do TigerDirect to wait till launch day to request an injunction, when the name was announced last year?
My guess is that they hoped for an out of court settlement. If you want to put pressure on a person/company you give them no room to maneuver. That is why you wait until the last minute, when Apple hardly can change the name.
If they wanted to protect their name, they would have filed the suit as soon as they got word that Apple was about to name the new OS Tiger.
Again just my guess of course...
 

dr_lha

macrumors 68000
Oct 8, 2003
1,587
0
snkTab said:
I hope your not refering to the McDonalds case. Sure it's easy to think that if a lady spills hot coffee on her self its her fault. But that's not what the lawsuit was over. The lawsuit was over the fact that McDonalds served coffee at 185 degree average, while other places served coffee at 140 degrees average. Oh and by the way, skins burns at 180 degrees. Meaning that when the coffee reaches the consumers hands it is not consumable. Also noted is that there was also a big movement against McDonalds to have the temp lowered as well as McDonalds knowing of over 700 burn cases. If I spilled coffee on myself, I would expect it to be hot, maybe even burn my skin a little to the point where it would hurt for a while, but I wouldn't expect having third degree burns and skin grafing done.
A high five for bringing this up. Its annoying how everyone uses this as an example of a frivolous lawsuit without knowing the facts behind the case. I'm sure that everyone's perception of this case being frivolous has everything to do with McDonald's PR trying to make the victim look like the bad person.
 

Dr.Gargoyle

macrumors 65816
Oct 8, 2004
1,253
0
lat: 55.7222°N, long: 13.1971°E
snkTab said:
I hope your not refering to the McDonalds case. Sure it's easy to think that if a lady spills hot coffee on her self its her fault. But that's not what the lawsuit was over. The lawsuit was over the fact that McDonalds served coffee at 185 degree average, while other places served coffee at 140 degrees average. Oh and by the way, skins burns at 180 degrees. Meaning that when the coffee reaches the consumers hands it is not consumable. Also noted is that there was also a big movement against McDonalds to have the temp lowered as well as McDonalds knowing of over 700 burn cases. If I spilled coffee on myself, I would expect it to be hot, maybe even burn my skin a little to the point where it would hurt for a while, but I wouldn't expect having third degree burns and skin grafing done.
My point was just that everybody knows that coffee is hot. In fact it should be hot. If I got lukewarm coffee I would send it back and never go to that place again. It should be obvious to any normally gifted person that hot beverages can cause harm, thus you have to act with care. Secondly, since M never specifically stated exact at what temperature their coffee was served at, you have to make sure it isnt too hot before you place the cup inbetween your thighs and drive off.
Finally, since Mc is a fast food restaurant where there is a lag in between the preparation and the actual consumption of the food/beverage, you have to prepare it colder/ hotter than normally. That should be obvious too. If M didn't prepare e.g. the coffee hotter than it should be for consumption, we would in most cases get lukewarm coffee. There was a rational reason why M served their coffee hot.
The M lawsuit is IMHO a good example of a frivolous lawsuits that only will result in that companies will be forced to spend a lot of money providing customers with information they all ready have or should have in the first place.
Everybody will lose if companies can't assume that people have common sense. If you doubt me, then answer this; have any one of you guys ever considered to pull a plasticbag over someones head? Companies scared of lawsuits put a warning text on wrapping plasticbags, warning people that it could cause asphyxiation. DUUUHHHH!!!!
What is next? Warning texts in bricks? Please, do not try to devour this piece of building equipment. It could harm your teeths and ultimately cause stomach pain.
 

NEENAHBOY

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2004
400
2
Arlington, VA
Dr.Gargoyle said:
My point was just that everybody knows that coffee is hot. In fact it should be hot. If I got lukewarm coffee I would send it back and never go to that place again. It should be obvious to any normally gifted person that hot beverages can cause harm, thus you have to act with care. Secondly, since M never specifically stated exact at what temperature their coffee was served at, you have to make sure it isnt too hot before you place the cup inbetween your thighs and drive off.
Finally, since Mc is a fast food restaurant where there is a lag in between the preparation and the actual consumption of the food/beverage, you have to prepare it colder/ hotter than normally. That should be obvious too. If M didn't prepare e.g. the coffee hotter than it should be for consumption, we would in most cases get lukewarm coffee. There was a rational reason why M served their coffee hot.
The M lawsuit is IMHO a good example of a frivolous lawsuits that only will result in that companies will be forced to spend a lot of money providing customers with information they all ready have or should have in the first place.
Everybody will lose if companies can't assume that people have common sense. If you doubt me, then answer this; have any one of you guys ever considered to pull a plasticbag over someones head? Companies scared of lawsuits put a warning text on wrapping plasticbags, warning people that it could cause asphyxiation. DUUUHHHH!!!!
What is next? Warning texts in bricks? Please, do not try to devour this piece of building equipment. It could harm your teeths and ultimately cause stomach pain.
So M probably prepped it at 190 degrees or maybe a little over. They could 've just prepped it at 160 and let it cool down to 145, but noooo. They knew the correct prep temperature, they knew of other burn cases, but they still served their coffee scalding hot. Sorry, but you have no clue what you're talking about.