3M Argues Compitior's DYNATONE Is too Similar to Its DYNATRON.

MINNEAPOLIS, June 22, 2009 -- The Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, now known as 3M, brought a federal action today in response to competing auto products sold under the DYNATONE brand.

3M is one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of auto-body products. 3M acquired the rights in the DYNATRON trademark when it acquired Bondo in 2007. 3M and its predecessor Bondo have used the DYNATRON mark continuously over the past 35 years in connection with numerous auto-body products, including primers and surfacing compounds, hardeners, undercoats, clear coats, body fillers, putties, glazes, seam sealers, plastic repair kits, and various auto-body shop accessories.

California's Dynatone, LLC and Alsa Corporation began using the designations DYNATONE and DYNATONE CORP in connection with a variety of auto-body products, including primers and surfacing compounds, hardeners, clear coats, and base coats in approximately 1997. Alsa Corporation is listed as the registrant for the internet domain name www.dynatonecorp.com.

The complaint asks for compensatory and punitive damages for trademark infringement, cyberpiracy, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment in addition to an injunction prohibiting further use of the DYNATONE mark and the destruction of all products and marketing materials bearing that trademark.

The primary purpose of trademark infringement laws is to prevent consumer confusion regarding the source of goods and services. The first party to use a trademark may prohibit other parties from using a mark subsequently on connection with similar goods or services if it so resembles the original mark as to cause confusion. If the later mark is so similar, it is deemed to infringe on the prior mark.

In assessing damages for infringing a federally registered trademark, the court may enter judgment for any sum above the amount found as actual damages, up to three times. When a court finds a defendant intentionally counterfeited a registered trademark, the court must, unless the court finds extenuating circumstances, enter judgment for three times such profits or damages, whichever is greater, together with a reasonable attorney’s fee unless the Plaintiff elects for statutory damages up to $1,000,000 per counterfeit mark per type of goods or services sold, offered for sale, or distributed.

Cyber Piracy is an umbrella term for online deceptive practices on the web that include: cybersquatting, domain parking, and deceptive use of key words and metatags.

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