United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
December 6, 2005.
THE CHAMBERLAIN GROUP, INC., Plaintiff,
REXON INDUSTRIAL CORP., LTD., et al., Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: MILTON SHADUR, Senior District Judge
This action has just been reassigned to this Court's calendar
from that of its colleague, Honorable George Marovich, as the
result of Judge Marovich's declination under 28 U.S.C. § 294(b).
Accordingly this Court is contemporaneously issuing its customary
initial scheduling order, a copy of which is being transmitted to
counsel for plaintiff The Chamberlain Group, Inc. ("Chamberlain")
together with a copy of this memorandum order.
It is of course inappropriate for this Court to opine in any
definitive or near-definitive way, at this threshold stage, as to
Chamberlain's substantive claims either under Counts I through
IV (which charge patent infringement), or under the counts that
assert federal trademark infringement (Count V), or under the
remaining counts that set out a group of claims related to the
latter (Counts VI through X). But in those last respects it would
seem likely that particular heed may have to be given to the
question whether defendants' adoption of the mark "Home Master"
to designate their goods does encroach on what Chamberlain seeks to transmute from its five trademark
registrations (Complaint ¶ 18) to what it consistently describes
generically as "The MASTER family of trademarks" (id. and
Complaint ¶¶ 20, 22, 24, 25, 29 and 30). Would Chamberlain, for
example, sweep up the famous Master Lock trademark within its own
proprietary "family" sphere?
That, like all other issues in the case, remains for future
consideration. In the meantime, this Court will await the January
10, 2006 status hearing for a progress report from the parties.
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