On Monday, October 7, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued orders denying Paddle Tramps Manufacturing Co.’s petition for writ of certiorari. As a result, the injunction, issued by the Northern District of Texas and affirmed by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, continues to stand. The injunction prevents Paddle Tramps from utilizing various Greek organizations’ trademarks in certain forms of marketing, sales and advertising.
The case between Paddle Tramps and 32 Greek organizations lasted for seven years and at considerable expense to all parties involved. In the end, the Greek organizations achieved a legal victory affirming that their trademarks were strong and distinct and that their licensing programs are valid. In the process, Paddle Tramps was found guilty of trademark infringement, unfair competition, dilution (under Texas law) and, accordingly, is prevented from commercial use (including advertising) of various Greek organizations’ names, nicknames, crests, Greek letter combinations and other symbols.
This decision marks the first time a Greek Trademark lawsuit reached the Supreme Court of the United States. While the Greek organizations had every intention of avoiding the long and protracted legal battle, they were principally aligned that all trademark infringement must be addressed and that their trademark rights deserve a vigorous defense.