Earlier this month Marten Transport won a substantial trademark judgment against a Kansas-based marketing firm. Marten is a Wisconsin-based trucking company with truck drivers operating throughout the United States.
In a jury decision issued in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, the jury awarded Marten $3.25 million in damages for trademark infringement, unfair competition and more.
Presiding Judge John W. Lungstrom, District Court Judge, immediately reduced the award by $750,000 to $2.5 million, however the plaintiff and defendant will present motions to the court within the next several weeks regarding the remainder of the verdict.
Marten’s attorneys at DeWitt Ross & Stevens said they were pleased with the jury’s award. “Trademark infringement awards of this size are not an everyday occurrence,” said Harry Van Camp of DeWitt.
At issue in the case was whether PlattForm Advertising Inc., a business that used to market Marten’s open trucking jobs on the Internet, had used Marten’s name and trademarks without authorization on its websites after Marten had terminated its relationship with the company and after sending a cease and desist letter in 2013.
PlattForm owns and operates various websites that advertise open truck driver positions on behalf of commercial trucking companies and allows interested persons to submit applications. Those websites include a number of separate sites advertising for truck driving positions, one of which PlattForm had recently acquired and on which Marten had previously posted jobs.
For several years Marten engaged the services of those websites where it paid a monthly fee to advertise its job openings. Marten then received applications through the websites. However, once Marten terminated its relationship with PlattForm, the company no longer had the permission of Marten to use its logos or other trademarked information on its websites.
And that’s where the problems began. PlattForm — even after being notified — continued to use Marten’s trademarked logos. And after presenting its case to the jury in Kansas, the jury agreed that PlattForm had damaged Marten economically through its trademarks violation.