Heineken Brouwerijen B.V. et al v. Bright Neon Signs
DEFAULT JUDGMENT in favor of Cervezas Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma, S.A. DE C.V., Heineken Brouwerijen B.V., Heineken USA Inc. against Bright Neon Signs. Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a) and N.C. Gen. Stat. §75-16.1(1), plaintiffs are awarded attorney's fees and costs in an amount to be proven. Plaintiffs shall submit appropriate documentation supporting their request for fees and costs by December 20, 2017. Signed by Chief Judge James C. Dever III on 11/28/2017. (Briggeman, N.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
HEINEKEN BROUWERIJEN B.V.,
HEINEKEN USA, INC., and
MOCTEZUMA, S.A. DE C.V.,
BRIGHT NEON SIGNS, LLC, a/k/a
BRIGHT NEON SIGNS, INC., a/k/a
On October 19, 2017, plaintiffs Heineken Brouwerijen B.V., Heineken USA Inc., and
Cervezas Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma, S.A. DE C.V. (''plaintiffs") moved for a default judgment against
Bright Neon Signs, LLC, a/k/a Bright Neon Signs, Inc., a/k/a Brightneonsigns.com ("defendant")
[D.E. 13]. The court h.8s considered the record and makes the following :findings of fact and
conclusions of law.
On May 30,2017, plaintiffs properly served defendant. See [D.E. 7]; Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(h).
More than 21 days have passed since defendant was served, and defendant has not answered the
complaint or otherwise appeared in the matter. Defendant is not an infant or incompetent, and is not
in the military. On July 24, 2017, the clerk entered default [D.E. 10].
The court has reviewed plaintiffs' complaint and attached exhibits [D.E. 1, 1-1 through 1-4],
the motion for default judgment [D.E. 13], and the declaration of Katie Bukrinsky [D.E. 13-1] and
attached exhibits [D.E. 13-2 through 13-9]. Plaintiffs own valid trademarks and design marks for
HEINEKEN and DOS EQUIS for beer and related goods. Defendant sold neoli bar signs bearing
copies ofPlaintiffs' HEINEKEN and DOS EQUIS trademarks and design marks without plaintiffs'
Defendant's distribution, promotion, and sale of neon signs with plaintiffs'
trademarks and design marks created a likelihood that defendant's consumers would believe
defendant's signs were licensed, or that plaintiffs approved them.
Plaintiffs repeatedly demanded that defendant cease its infringing activities, but defendant
never responded to the communications. Thus, plaintiffs filed this lawsuit. Despite being served
with the complaint and the motion for entry of default, defendant never appeared in this action. See
[D.E. 7, 9].
Defendant's activities constitute trademark infringement ai::td unfair competition in violation
of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1114 and§ 1125, and the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive
Trade Practices Act ("UDTPA"), N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. The court holds that this is an
"exceptional case" under 15 U .S.C. § 1117(a). Accordingly, plaintiffs' motion for default judgment
is granted. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2).
In sum, plaintiffs' motion for default judgment [D.E. 13] is GRANTED.
1. Defendant, its employees, owners, agents, officers, directors, attorneys, representatives,
affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, assigns, and all those in active concert or participation with them
or having knowledge of the causes of action, are permanently enjoined from using, displaying, or
referencing plaintiffs' marks alone or in combination with any other word(s), term(s), designation(s),
mark(s), and/or design(s), as well as all similar marks, in connection with any products or services,
specifically including neon signs.
2. Those in privity with defendant and those with notice of the injunction, including any
online marketplace, social media websites, Internet search engines, web hosts, domain name
registrars, and domain name registries that are provided with notice of the injunction, shall
immediately cease facilitating access to any and all websites and accounts through which defendant
engaged in infringing plaintiffs' marks.
3. Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a) and N.C. Gen. Stat. §75-16.1(1), plaintiffs are awarded
·attorney's fees and costs in an amount to be proven.
Plaintiffs shall submit appropriate
documentation supporting their request for fees and costs by December 20, 2017.
SO ORDERED. This
ts day ofNovember 2017.
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