DR Media Holdings and its wholly-owned subsidiary, DealerRater.com, LLC, sued Michigan company Top Rated Online LLC, for trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition, and violation of Mass. G.L. 93A. DR Media runs a website, www.dealerrater.com, that provides ratings and consumer reviews of automotive dealers and service centers. In connection with these reviews, DR Media (seen previously here) annually awards dealerships for best dealer and customer satisfaction, and offers to sell the dealers trophies bearing the trademarked award logos. DR accuses Top Rated of offering to produce trophies for the award winners bearing these logos and DR’s DEALERRATER trademark. DR cites specific examples of this occurring with dealerships in Tennessee and Michigan, but only generally alleges infringing activity occurring in Massachusetts, leaving the 93A claim, which requires the acts complained of take place substantially within Massachusetts, in doubt. Judge Saylor has been assigned to the case.
Judge Saylor granted Defendants’ motion to partially strike SiOnyx’s Fourth Amended Initial Contentions. SiOnyx had sought to reintroduce a claim that had been initially asserted but voluntarily dropped because it was undergoing inter partes review. After the IPR decision upheld the claim, only two days before defendants’ expert was to be deposed and subsequent to opening and rebuttal expert briefs, SiOnyx served the amended contentions with the claim re-added. Judge Saylor noted that there was no good cause shown to permit reinsertion of the claim into the case, and that (to the extent SiOnyx believed it needed to wait on the PTAB’s decision, it was free to seek to stay or modify the schedule. Defendants were entitled to rely on SiOnyx’s decision to withdraw the claim.