Willamette Law Online

Intellectual Property


Multi Time Mach., v. Amazon.com

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 02-20-2013
Case #: CV 11-09076 DDP
Full Text Opinion: http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=17302125818818041898&hl=en&as_sdt=2,38

Trademarks: To prove trademark infringement, a plaintiff must establish that the defendant’s website uses the plaintiff’s mark confusingly when a consumer searches the defendant’s website.

Opinion (Pregerson): MTM sold military style watches through its website and a limited number of retail stores. Amazon is an online retailer selling millions of products directly to the consumer and through hosted third party sellers. Amazon did not sell MTM products. Multi Time Machine, Inc., (MTM) alleged that Amazon.com and Amazon Services (Amazon) infringed MTM’s trademark. Amazon motioned for summary judgment. MTM argued that Amazon infringed MTM’s trademarks by presenting a list of watches made by MTM’s competitors when a consumer searched for one of MTM’s trademarked watches on Amazon’s site. MTM contended that Amazon was obliged to inform consumers that Amazon does not carry any MTM products before offering products from other brands in order to avoid consumer confusion. Amazon countered that it clearly labels the search results to indicate the different brand, therefore leading consumers to what they want. The court found that there was no likelihood of confusion. In particular, the court looked to the strength of the mark, evidence of actual consumer confusion, the type of goods and degree of care likely to be exercised by the purchaser, the labeling and appearance of the advertisements, and the surrounding context on the results page. Amazon’s motion for summary judgment was GRANTED.