A Tangipahoa Parish company has sued a Texas business and its successor entity, alleging copyright violation.
Dixie Motors, doing business as Dixie RV Superstores of Hammond, filed a lawsuit April 20 in U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana against Motor Home Specialist and Motor Home Specialist Management, citing intellectual property infringement in a September 2012 case.
The plaintiff is a large recreational vehicle outlet with three locations. According to the complaint, since 1996 it has used the mark “Dixie RV” to identify itself, its products, website and social media presence, invested heavily in its trademark and image, and received a patent for “Dixie RV Superstores” on Sept. 2, 2014.
The suit states the defendant, which is in the same business as Dixie RV Superstores, usurped the term “Dixie RV” by using it in a September 2012 online advertisement. More specifically, Internet searches through Google and Yahoo pointed users to the defendant’s business, the suit says.
According to the suit, the plaintiff’s attorney twice sent the defendant cease and desist letters in fall 2012, and the defendant blamed a third party advertising agent for the action each time.
Dixie RV Superstores alleges the defendants are paying online search engines for placement priority in search results, that “Dixie RV” is their trade name, and the defendants are willfully and deliberately infringing on intellectual property.
The plaintiff cites: unfair competition and trade practices both in Texas and Louisiana; use of an unregistered mark; and civil conspiracy.
Dixie RV Superstores seeks injunctive relief with punitive damages, prejudgment interest, attorney fees, expenses and costs.
It is represented by attorneys Georgia Thomas, Russell Rudolph, Glen Galbraith, and Jennifer Lee of Seale & Ross in Hammond.
U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana case number: 2:15-cv-01247-SM-SS.