U.S. Olympic Committee alleges trademark infringement in suit against car dealer

By Jon Campisi | Sep 15, 2011

The United States Olympic Committee has filed a civil suit in federal court in Philadelphia against a Pennsylvania car dealership, alleging the company has engaged in trademark infringement against the nonprofit organization.

Philadelphia lawyers Scott B. Schwartz and Melanie A. Miller, of the firm Cozen O’Connor, and attorneys John P. Margiotta and Robert A. Becker, of the New York law firm Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, P.C., jointly filed the federal complaint Sept. 13 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of the Colorado-based USOC.

The defendant named in the lawsuit is Folsom, Pa.-based Olympic Motors, Inc.

The complaint states that beginning in January 2010 and continuing on through present day, the USOC has been demanding, both orally and in writing, that the Delaware County car dealership “cease and desist its improper use of the word Olympic and the Olympic symbol.”

“The USOC has made repeated attempts since January 2010 to obtain Defendant’s compliance with the Olympic and Amateur Sports Act,” the lawsuit states. “These attempts all proved unsuccessful.”

In the lawsuit, the plaintiff asserts that it has exclusive rights to the word “Olympic” and to the Olympic symbol, which comprises five interlocking multi-colored rings.

The suit claims that the defendant’s use of the word and symbol to identify its used car business violates an express prohibition in the Olympic and Amateur Sports Act.

The lawsuit contains counts of federal trademark infringement and unfair competition and false designation of origin.

The plaintiff seeks judgment in the form of actual or statutory damages, pre-judgment interest, attorney’s fees and other relief deemed just by the court.

The USOC also seeks to have a judge order the defendant to stop using the name “Olympic Motors Inc.,” to change the company’s web address, and to destroy all promotional materials and other car dealership inventory that displays the infringed name.

A jury trial has been demanded.

The federal case number is 2:11-cv-05724-TON.

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