Court Grants Motion to Dismiss Unfair Competition Counterclaim

Monday, February 13, 2017

In a dispute between two sport and social clubs, the defendant brought a counterclaim of unfair competition based on the plaintiff’s alleged use -- on t-shirts, banners, and a Facebook page -- of the statement “DON’T BE FOOLED BY IMITATIONSocials,” in which “IMITATIONSocials” allegedly was in the same font and style as the defendant’s logo “BALTIMORESocials.”  Judge J. Frederick Motz granted the plaintiff’s motion to dismiss the defendant’s unfair competition counterclaim on the ground that the defendant did not show likely confusion.  According to Judge Motz, the whole point of the plaintiff’s statement was “‘to draw a distinction between the two entities,’ rather than propagate confusion.”  Baltimore Sports & Social Club, Inc. v. Sport & Social, LLC, No. 16-cv-02953-JFM, 2017 WL 526499 *6 (D. Md. Jan. 6, 2017).