Cable Provider Sues ISP Over Gigabit+ Trademark

Mediacom Communications, a cable television, internet, and phone service provider, filed a complaint against Everywhere Wireless, an internet service provider, on Wednesday in the Northern District of Illinois alleging that the defendant used Mediacom’s registered trademark to advertise a similar service, thus causing consumer confusion and deception.

According to the complaint, the action seeks remedy for “counterfeiting, service mark infringement, false advertising, false designation of origin, false representation of fact, unfair competition, passing off and related claims” in violation of the Lanham Act and Illinois statutory and law.

Mediacom asserted that it has used the stylized GIGABIT+ mark in the U.S. in connection with “its promotion and offering of Internet access services” long before this lawsuit; they added that they have spent time and money to ensure the exclusive association of the GIGABIT+ mark with Mediacom for internet service.

The plaintiff alleged that after Mediacom adopted, registered, and used the GIGABIT+ mark, the defendant has provided and is providing internet access services using Mediacom’s mark and designations. The plaintiff claimed that as shown in Exhibits C and D, Everywhere Wireless used these stylized marks and designations on its website, advertising similar services as Mediacom. Mediacom stated that it informed Everywhere Wireless of its rights to the GIGABIT+ mark. The complaint said the defendant then modified its designation “in connection with the provision of Internet access services to residences and businesses” from “Gigabit+” to “Gigabit Plus.”

Mediacom claimed it informed Everywhere Wireless that the modified designation still infringed its mark, and said the defendant did not respond to the notice informing Everywhere Wireless of their continued infringement.

Mediacom proffered that the defendant’s conduct was “willful, wanton, and in bad faith, and with the intent to misrepresent the source of Defendant’s services and to trade off of the reputation and goodwill of Mediacom.”

The counts against the defendant include counterfeiting, infringement of registered mark, service mark infringement, false advertising, false designation of origin, false representation of fact, unfair competition and passing off, deceptive trade practices. The defendant is accused of violating the Lanham Act and various Illinois state laws.

Mediacom has sought an injunction, an award for damages, an award for costs and fees, for the defendant to deliver all items with the designations in question or related designation for destruction, and other relief.

Mediacom is represented by Dentons US LLP.