Self Improvement Company Accuses Competitors of Unlawfully Diverting Business.

BATON ROUGE, May 29, 2009 -- The self improvement gurus responsible for THE TOTAL TRANSFORMATION and THE US FACTOR have accused competitors of using their trademarks to unlawfully divert business.

The federal complaint filed today was brought by Maine's Advantage Media Group, which trades under the names Legacy Publishing Company and Total Transformation Company.

Essentially, Advantage Media has accused Louisiana's Smart Discipline LLC, Lawrence J. Koenig, Basixco LLC, and Frank C. Zondlo of displaying the aforementioned trademark that appear when consumers perform an internet search along with comments about Advantage Media's products. When potential customers follow the hyperlinks on the defendant's web sites, the viewer is directed to websites operated by Basixco and Zondo which promote the products of Smart Discipline LLC and Koenig.

Specifically, when a person uses a search engine to do a keyword search for "total transformation", the search results allegedly produce the web sites maintained by Basixco and Zondo with a statement "Transformation Warning. Don't Buy Total Transformation. Until you've read this!" Upon clicking on the link purporting to contain a warning, the viewer is taken to www.thesmarttransformation.com offering the Smart Discipline LLC and Koenig products. According to the complaint, the defendants did the same thing with THE US FACTOR.

After Advantage Media sent a cease and desist letter, the language of the "warning" changed to "Transformation Warning. Don't Buy Total Trans. Until you've read this!"

The pleading as filed contains claims based on trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair competition, and false advertising.

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. An award for trademark infringement is designed to help the original owner of the mark to remedy the confusion of consumers through additional marketing and other curative activities.

Trademark dilution laws protect the property interest in a trademark with its "uniqueness" and the good will associated therein.

Cybersquatting is prohibited under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. Cybersquatting involves registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad faith intent to profit from a trademark belonging to someone else. Advantage Media is asking for the maximum allowable damages under U.S. law for cybersquatting, which is $100,000.

In addition to compensatory and punitive damages, Advantage Media is also seeking an injunction ordering the defendants to transfer ownership of the offensive domains and an order prohibiting the defendants from further use of THE TOTAL TRANSFORMATION and THE US FACTOR.

Disclaimer & Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
© 2007 Brandwise Law Firm, P.C.