Door Manufacturer Total Door, Inc. in Federal Court with A Total Door, Inc.

KANSAS CITY, July 14, 2009 -- A door installation and repair service company has asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas to determine if their trademark A TOTAL DOOR infringes on a Michigan door manufacturer's registered trademark TOTAL DOOR.

The Kansas-based A Total Door, Inc. started its business of installing and repairing doors under the name Total Door in 1982 and later changed its legal name to A Total Door, Inc. in 2001.

Michigan door manufacturer Total Door, Inc. has been selling doors under the TOTAL DOOR trademark since 1975. The company obtained it first federal trademark registration for TOTAL DOOR in 1988 with a date of first use of 1975.

Like many states, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) divides goods and services into various classes and registers trademarks within the appropriate classes. The benefits of registration only apply to the goods and services actually used in connection with the trademark; however, some consideration is given to other classes that a trademark owner could reasonably, foreseeably expand into offering in connection with a trademark.

In the alternative to a declaratory judgment stating there is no infringement, Kansas' A Total Door, Inc. has requested a finding on trademark infringement by Michigan's Total Door, Inc.

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.

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