Tag Archives | trademark strength

Use Your Trademark Consistently or It Will Be Weak: WD-40 in the Crosshair

Most damaging to Sorensen’s argument regarding this factor is his inconsistent use of the crosshair [trade]mark. – Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Sorensen_v_WD-40_CrosshairIn 1997, Jeffery Sorensen founded a company and began selling rust preventive products under the trademark THE INHIBITOR. Sorensen claimed trademark rights in THE INHIBITOR mark and common law trademark rights in the Sorensen Crosshair provided on some of his products, shown to the right.

In 2011, the WD-40 Company, began selling WD-40 Specialist Long-Term Corrosion Inhibitor for a similar purpose. The WD-40 product contained the same volatile corrosion inhibitor as Sorensen’s product.

Sorensen sued WD-40 for infringing THE INHIBITOR and crosshair trademarks in the case of Sorensen v. WD-40 Company, No. 14-3067 (7th Cir. June 11, 2015). But he lost on all counts.

While its not …

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