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Juul Labs, Inc. v. The Unincorporated Associations Identified In Schedule A

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division

June 7, 2019

Juul Labs. Inc., Plaintiff,
v.
The Unincorporated Associations Identified in Schedule A, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Hon. Liam O'Grady, Judge

         This matter came before the Court on Plaintiff's ex parte Motion for Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) (Dkt. 10). Plaintiff alleges that Defendants "are knowingly and intentionally promoting, advertising, marketing, retailing, offering for sale, distributing, and selling counterfeit products bearing the famous and distinctive [Juul] Trademarks." Defendants are unknown individuals identified in Schedule A (Dkt. 7) by their eBay seller ID or store name.

         Plaintiff requested that the Court issue a temporary restraining order freezing the assets of each of the Defendants' PayPal accounts. The lack of identification for the Defendants and the need to prevent Defendants from removing their assets beyond the jurisdiction of the Court necessitated the ex parte motion.

         For the reasons that follow and for good cause shown, the Court granted Plaintiffs motion.

         I. LEGAL STANDARD

         A grant of temporary injunctive relief requires the movant to establish four factors: (1) the likelihood of irreparable harm to the plaintiff if the TRO is denied; (2) the likelihood of harm to the defendants if the TRO is granted; (3) the likelihood that the plaintiff will succeed on the merits; and (4) the public interest. Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008).

         II. DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff established that ail four Winter factors favored granting the TRO.

         A. Likelihood of Irreparable Harm

         In a trademark case in which the likelihood of success is clearly established, irreparable harm follows as a matter of course. See Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, Inc. v. Alpha of Virginia, Inc., 43 F.3d 922, 939 (4th Cir. 1995) ("fW]e recognize that irreparable injury regularly follows from trademark infringement."). There is a strong likelihood that Plaintiff will succeed on the merits (see infra). In addition. Plaintiff would be irreparably harmed absent a TRO because Defendants would have the incentive and capacity to transfer their assets from any accounts within the United States, depriving Plaintiff of the ability to obtain monetary relief. This factor therefore favored granting the TRO.

         B. Harm to Defendants

          Defendants are unlikely to suffer any cognizable harm from the TRO as they would merely be prevented from profiting from past infringement and moving their funds beyond the reach of the Court. Cf Toolchex, Inc. v. Trainor, 634 F.Supp.2d 586. 593 (E.D. Va. 2008) (holding that any harm a defendant would suffer by being prevented from deliberately infringing a plaintiffs trademark does not alter the balance of hardship analysis). This factor thus weighed in favor of granting the TRO.

         C. Likelihood of

         Success on the Merits Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits of all four of its claims: (a) trademark counterfeiting, (b) trademark infringement, (c) ...


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