Mediator will try to settle Chrysler's 'Imported from Detroit' trademark case
DETROIT -- The next attempt to settle a trademark legal battle between Chrysler and a Michigan company over merchandise using the phrase "Imported From Detroit" will come March 27 before a mediator.
Chrysler Group and clothing maker Pure Detroit have agreed to the use of a mediator.
The two sides have an April 3 deadline to tell a magistrate in U.S. District Court in Detroit whether they were able to work out a deal, said John VanOphem, a lawyer who represents Kevin Borsay and Shawn Santo, co-founders of Pure Detroit, which sells merchandise with the disputed brand.
Chrysler declined to comment further on the mediation talks.
In March 2011, Chrysler sued Pure Detroit and its owners over Pure Detroit's sales of T-shirts using the "Imported from Detroit" phrase.
The merchandise went on sale after Chrysler's 2011 Super Bowl commercial, which kicked off the automaker's "Imported From Detroit" marketing campaign.
Pure Detroit countersued in April, contending Chrysler doesn't have a valid trademark because the phrase is geographical, descriptive and, arguably, misleading.
In June, a fedeal judge in Detroit rejected Chrysler's motion for a preliminary injunction to halt Pure Detroit's clothing sales. He ruled that Chrysler didn't show that it would suffer irreparable harm or that it had a strong likelihood of winning its case.
That means Pure Detroit's owner, Detroit-branded merchandise retailer Moda Group LLC, has been able to continue selling its products.
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