A U.S. court has the authority to hear a trademark lawsuit by grocery chain Trader Joe's against a man who purchased the company's products and resold them in Canada at "Pirate Joe's," a store designed to mimic a real Trader Joe's, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco overturned a district court's decision to dismiss California-based Trader Joe's federal trademark claims.
The district court in Washington state said it lacked authority to hear those claims because the defendant's alleged trademark violations occurred in Canada and Trader Joe's had failed to clearly explain how they affected U.S. commerce.
The 9th Circuit said defendant Michael Hallatt's conduct could harm Trader Joe's reputation, decreasing the value of its American-held trademarks.
Circuit Judge Morgan Christen also pointed out that Hallatt bought the Trader Joe's goods he resold in Washington state.