The American DJ Group, a leading supplier of lighting, audio and trussing products, has reached a settlement with Wal-Mart Stores and DBL Distributing, a division of Ingram Micro, in a trademark infringement lawsuit regarding its internationally recognized and famous American Audio® brand. The suit alleged that the two aforementioned companies and three other firms had wrongfully used the “American Audio” trademark in advertising, distributing and promoting audio products that were not made by or affiliated with either American DJ or American Audio.
In a further development, the audio products’ manufacturer, V2Go Technology Corporation, one of the five defendants named in the original lawsuit, has filed for bankruptcy.
Wal-Mart Stores and DBL Distributing were included in the lawsuit because, by distributing and selling products bearing the federally registered American Audio® trademark, they were wrongfully trading on the goodwill that American DJ had built up for the brand, according to Kenneth L. Sherman of Myers Andras Sherman & Zarrabian LLP, counsel for American DJ.
“The American DJ Group, including American DJ Supply, Inc., Elation Lighting, Inc., American Audio, Global Truss America LLC, and Acclaim Lighting, Inc., maintains a strict policy to pursue all infringers of its intellectual property rights, including any and all distributors who traffic in illegal products bearing any ADJ mark or brand,” said Sherman. “This includes the well-known American DJ®, American Audio®, Elation®, Global Truss®, Acclaim Lighting®, Accu-Cable® and DuraTruss™ trademarks.”
“American DJ feels vindicated that both Wal-Mart and DBL have recognized ADJ’s rights with respect to its trademarks in this regrettable incident,” Sherman added. “It is unfortunate that the manufacturer of this product has been forced into bankruptcy and that the distributors have been left fully liable for the resolution.”
In addition to Wal-Mart, DBL and V2Go Technology Corporation, the two other defendants named in the suit were American Audio Laboratory, Inc. and Laser Karaoke, Inc. (also known as Karaoke Jukebox and Karaoke Warehouse).
Terms of the settlement reached with Wal-Mart and DBL were undisclosed. In its original suit American DJ had sought a “monetary reward in the amount of the defendants’ profits due to their unjust enrichment” as a result of the trademark infringement, plus statutory damages and compensation for attorney fees and other expenses. American DJ had also requested that a court restraint be placed on the five companies from using the American Audio® trademark and that the defendants be ordered to destroy all products, labels, literature and advertising bearing the American Audio® trademark.