HOUSTON – A Keller man is alleged to be unlawfully using a grocer's trademarks.
HEB Grocery Co. LP filed a complaint on Sept. 19 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Todd Meagher and Mystore Inc. alleging trademark infringement, unfair competition and other counts.
According to the complaint, plaintiff is the registered owner of the Mi Tienda marks and Mi Tienda design in connection with its retail grocery store services and related products. The suit states that the defendants are using the Mystore and Mitenda and Mitienda marks without authorization in connection to an online marketplace.
In response to the suit, Meagher sent the following comment to the Record:
"The lawsuit filed by HEB Grocery is nothing more than an attempt to reverse highjack the domain name mitienda.com. HEB Grocery is in the grocery business, limited to Texas (as evidenced by their domain name http://mitiendatx.com/ ) and doesn't even offer services online.
"The HEB Grocery trademark Mi Tienda is for Retail grocery store services.
"The MyStore trademark which was issued and successfully defended at the USPTO for over 10 years is for Advertising and information distribution services, namely, providing classified advertising space via a global computer network; promoting the goods and services of others over the Internet; providing on-line computer databases and on-line searchable databases featuring classified listings and want ads and could not possibly be confused with grocery store services.
"The new MyStore trademark filing is for Internet-based social networking services.
"HEB Grocery does not and has never offered any services similar to MyStore and has never had, or filed a trademark for, MyStore or MyStore.Com.
"In response to HEB Grocery's attempt to usurp the domain names mitienda.com and MyStore.Com I have filed a claim to cancel HEB Grocery's registration for the MI TIENDA mark with the USPTO.
"This lawsuit by HEB Grocery underscores the unscrupulous legal gamesmanship big corporations play in an attempt to strip individuals of intellectual property and reverse highjack domain names that rightfully belong to them.
"I have offered to stay out of the grocery business if HEB Grocery will stay out of the social networking business. Let's see what happens."
The plaintiff alleges that as a result of defendants' infringement, it has suffered a loss of profits, trademark dilution and diminished reputation and goodwill.
The plaintiff holds Meagher and Mystore Inc. responsible because the defendants allegedly used the Mystore marks (the English equivalent of plaintiff's Mi Tienda marks) without plaintiff's permission or authority.
The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks an order permanently enjoining and restraining defendants from using the Mystore marks and any other mark or domain name that is confusingly similar to plaintiff's Mi Tienda marks, an accounting to determine defendants’ profits resulting from their unlawful activities and that such profits be paid over to plaintiff, attorney fees, costs, expenses and such other appropriate relief. It is represented by Louis T. Pirkey and Tyson D. Smith of Pirkey Barber PLLC in Austin.
Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case number 4:17-cv-02810