Smells like… lawsuit

Car-Freshner Corp. – the company behind the ‘pine-tree-shaped-car-freshner-that-hangs-from-your-rear-view-mirror’, has sued a Californian company, for selling spray air fresheners. As we posted earlier – Car-Freshner Corp. is quite keen on their trademarks.

Car-Freshner, which has its headquarters in the Jefferson County Corporate Park, filed suit Thursday in U.S. District Court, Syracuse, against Surf City Garage Inc., Huntington Beach., Calif., claiming that the company “is undoubtedly familiar” with Car-Freshner’s trademarks and previously has “been caught appropriating” Car-Freshner’s intellectual property.

It all concerns the name “Black Ice,” which Car-Freshner has registered as a trademark for their series of well-known “Little Trees” air fresheners. They also sell spray fresheners, offered in both cans and bottles. Californian company Surf City Garage offers auto detailer in spray bottles under the Black Ice name and a tire gloss in a squeeze bottle under the name.

There is more to the story though: the matter dates back to February 2010, when Surf City Garage allegedly advertised its air fresheners with the promotional slogan “Now you can finally say goodbye to that overpowering pine tree.” Not cool, according to Car-Freshner.

The US Trademarks Office (USPTO) has refused Surf City Garages’ trademark application, due to Car-Freshner’s earlier trademark registration. But now the makers of the pine-tree are seeking to stop the use of the trademark BLACK ICE as well.

It seems Car-Freshner has a quite a solid case. So even if it comes to a court decision, they should be pine, eh.. fine.

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Knijff Merkenadviseurs


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