Toyo commences ‘Toyama’ trademark infringement action

On 8 November, Toyo Tire Rubber Co. Ltd. and its US subsidiaries filed a trademark infringement action against Toyama Tyre Corp and its subsidiaries. The action against Toyama was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, where both companies had exhibitor booths at the annual Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) trade show.

In the complaint, Toyo Tires alleges that Toyama is marketing and selling tyres using the “Toyama” and “Toyoma” marks, related domain names, and logos in direct infringement of Toyo Tires’ long established “Toyo” trade name and trade mark. The complaint states: “Defendants… have cloaked themselves in the name and trade identities of Toyo to gain entrance into and credibility in the United States and worldwide tyre markets. As a result, consumers are likely to believe that Defendants are Toyo, or that Toyo sponsors, produces, licenses, or is somehow affiliated with Defendants or its products.”

“Toyo Tires invests millions of dollars each year to promote its distinctive name and logo in connection with its products,” said Iori Suzuki, senior vice-president and general counsel for Toyo Tires. “We will vigorously defend our intellectual property rights against this type of misuse, and will not hesitate to take action to protect consumers, our associates, and business partners against such deception.”

In a statement released 11 November, Toyo Tires wrote that it is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to prohibit Toyama from continuing to infringe its intellectual property rights, together with other corrective relief, including destruction of infringing products and materials, and recovery for damages arising from Toyama’s actions.

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