Our Release: Bill Pinkney's Drifters Legacy Trumps Treadwell Challenge Again
Called for another Encore, Original Drifters, Inc., owner of the registered mark Bill Pinkney’s Original Drifters®, again has prevailed over Treadwell’s Original Drifters, LLC, this time in a United States District Court action.
The January 28, 2016 Court Order states: “This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Original Drifters, Inc.'s motion to dismiss, Dkt. No. 7, or in the alternative for summary judgment, Dkt. No. 16. The Complaint seeks judicial reversal of a decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. For the reasons outlined below, the Court finds good cause to GRANT the Motion under the doctrine of issue preclusion.
“This dispute arises over the ownership of trademark rights in the mark ‘The Drifters.’ Defendant holds a trademark for the mark ‘Bill Pinkney's Original Drifters.’ The United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") has denied Plaintiff a trademark for the mark ‘The Drifters’...
“All five elements of issue preclusion have been satisfied as to the TTAB’s 2004 decision to sustain Opposition No. 91151984. Because all five elements have been satisfied, issue preclusion prevents the parties from re-litigating the issue of priority. Because priority is the only issue Plaintiff has asked this Court to rule on, the Court finds good cause to dismiss this action under the doctrine of issue preclusion.”
“Conclusion Finding good cause to do so, the Court ORDERED that the Motion to Dismiss, or in the alternative, for Summary Judgment is GRANTED. It is further ORDERED that, pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Complaint is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.”
Plaintiff Treadwell’s counsel: Paula M. Potoczak, Law Office of Paula M. Potoczak and Cindy Salvo, Cindy Salvo Law
Defendant Original Drifters, Inc.’s counsel: James M. Slattery Birch, Stewart, Kolasch, & Birch, L.L.P.
Original Drifters, Inc. President Maxine Porter said, “The victory is a fitting culmination of our one-week 28th anniversary celebration of The Drifters’ 1988 induction into the esteemed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, especially during this year of ‘Bill Pinkney 90th Anniversary Remembrance.’ We look forward to bringing The Art of Drifting to you and yours soon.”
The Drifters brand was founded in the USA in 1953, and now is in its 63rd year. Beware of spinoff and imposter groups. United States federal law protects the mark and the associated goodwill against colorable imitations and infringement.