On-line RV Dealer RVDirect.com Fights Federal Actions on Two Fronts.

ALBANY, June 11, 2009 -- New York-based RVDirect.com filed another trademark lawsuit today against a North Carolina competitior after initiating a suit against a Michigan competitor in April.

RVDirect.com, Inc. and RV Direct Group, Inc., which collectively operate an online dealership for recreational vehicles, brought the action in the U.S. District Court against North Carolina's RV Direct, LLC alleging unfair competition, cybersquatting, trademark infringement and violating New York state business law.

RVDirect.com made very similar allegations against Michigan-based RV dealer Terry Town Travel Center, Inc. trading as www.nationalrvdirect.com in its lawsuit filed on April 22, 2009.

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. The marks do not have to be identical, but similar enough that the later mark is likely to cause confusion. If the later mark is so similar, it is deemed to infringe on the prior mark.

According to the complaints filed in both cases, RV Direct Group, Inc. claims to have used the mark RVDRIECT for approximately 25 years in the New York area. As a general rule, a party's claim of ownership is limited to the geographic areas where the mark has actually been used, except when a trademark has been registered.

The complaint filed against Terry Town Travel Center, Inc. states RVDirect.com, Inc. was organized in 1998, but the mark RVDIECT.COM was not in use until February 1, 2000.

North Carolina's RV Direct, LLC was organized on May 9, 2009. They registered the domain name www.rvdirectcampers.com on July 9, 2008.

Records maintained by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth indicate Terry Town Travel Center, Inc. was organized on September 10, 1975. The domain www.nationalrvdirect.com was registered as a domain on May 29, 2008.

RVDirect.com, Inc. federally registered the trademark RVDIRECT.COM on July 31, 2001, but failed to renew the registration after the initial term of five years. A registered trademark allows recovery of profits, damages and costs in a Federal court infringement action and the possibility of treble damages and attorneys’ fees.

The advancement of the internet has allowed enterprises to expand their marketing reach while allowing many smaller organizations to qualify for a federal trademark registration when they couldn't before. On the other hand, the internet has also created complex legal issues related to trademarks like the geographic use of a trademark and establishing priority between parties that were not formerly in conflict. Another trademark related issue stemming from the creation of the internet is cybersquatting.

Cybersquatting involves registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad faith intent to profit from a trademark belonging to someone else and is prohibited by the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. The maximum allowable damages under this law is $100,000 per domain. The Act also allows a trademark owner to gain ownership of a domain that infringes a trademark.

RVDirect.com, Inc. and RV Direct Group, Inc. are seeking compensatory damages in both cases for their claims based on unfair competition, cybersquatting, trademark infringement and violating New York state business law. They are also seeking an injunction ordering the transfer of ownership of both www.rvdirectcampers.com and www.nationalrvdirect.com.

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