A “Quick E Mart” convenience store intentionally infringed 7-Eleven’s three-stripe, three-colored trademarks, the company alleges in a lawsuit filed in Oregon federal district court.
Sangha Investments LLC’s store in North Bend, Ore., designed its logos in bad faith to mirror 7-Eleven’s longtime logo of a central green stripe flanked by orange and red stripes, according to the complaint. The sign for the Oregon store has a large green stripe between two horizontal red stripes broken in the middle by the words Quick E Mart, 7-Eleven says in the lawsuit.
The Oregon store further demonstrated bad faith with its name, given 7-Eleven’s cross-promotion with Fox Entertainment Group Inc.'s show “The Simpsons,” the complaint alleged. 7-Eleven in 2007 temporarily branded some of its stores “Kwik E Mart,” the name of the convenience store featured in the cartoon show.
The suit, filed Dec. 29, shows companies that spend extensively to create a look and feel recognizable by consumers will litigate to guard against alleged imitators.
7-Eleven said it’s been using its three-stripe trade dress for decades, and pointed to a 2009 registration for its current logo and a 2016 registration for just its tricolor striping pattern. It said Sangha infringed the marks “with full knowledge and conscious disregard of 7-Eleven’s rights.”
Quick E Mart’s logo likely will deceive consumers into thinking that 7-Eleven endorses it, and could help the store profit from the goodwill 7-Eleven has built up, according to the complaint.
Sangha doesn’t appear to own any relevant registered trademarks, according to searches of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office registry.
A different applicant abandoned efforts to register a trademark for the words “Kwik-E-Mart” in 2006 after a trademark examiner said it would likely cause confusion with a decades-old “Quik Mart” trademark owned by Citgo Petroleum Corp.
Causes of Action: Trademark infringement, trademark counterfeiting, trademark dilution, unfair competition, unjust enrichment.
Relief: Injunctive relief, treble damages, profits, attorneys’ fees and costs.
Response: Sangha could not immediately be reached for comment.
Attorneys: Callahan & Shears PC and Pirkey Barber PLLC represent 7-Eleven.
The case is: 7-Eleven, Inc. v. Sangha Investments LLC, D. Or., No. 19-2102, Complaint 12/29/19