Jury trial set in Prime Inc.’s trademark lawsuit against Amazon

A February 2022 trial date has been set in Prime Inc.’s lawsuit against Amazon in which the truckload carrier accuses Amazon of trademark infringement.

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, where the case was filed in July 2019, scheduled a five- to 10-day jury trial to begin Feb. 7. The court set Feb. 3 as a  settlement deadline.

Springfield, Missouri-based Prime, which specializes in reefer and flatbed cargo, claims that Amazon [NASDAQ: AMZN], through its “Prime” logo, “has and continues to use confusingly similar marks in connection with the transportation of goods via trailer trucks and other shipping and transportation vehicles in commerce. Prime Inc.’s claims its exclusive rights to the marks are being violated.

Prime Inc. marks. Source: Court documents

Prime pointed out in its complaint that it owns the common law standard character mark and stylized mark PRIME INC., “which have become well known and famous through Prime Inc.’s extensive and continuous use and promotion of the marks in commerce throughout the United States for forty years in connection with transportation, trucking, and shipping services classified by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.”

Amazon’s use of the word “prime” on trailers moving packages to retail and on-line customers causes Prime to lose money and allows Amazon to profit at Prime’s expense, Prime contends.

Amazon marks. Source: Court documents

In one of three amended complaints filed this year, Prime alleged that Amazon’s use of the “prime” mark on trailers and other vehicles “has diluted and is likely to continue to dilute the distinctiveness” of Prime Inc.’s logo. This will erode the public’s exclusive identification of the marks with Prime Inc., the company contends, “tarnishing and degrading Prime Inc.’s reputation and goodwill symbolized by the marks, and otherwise lessening the capacity of the marks to identify and distinguish goods and services.”

In a brief filed on Sept. 2 in response to Prime’s most recent amended complaint, Amazon denied Prime Inc.’s allegations and said the company is not entitled to relief. Amazon also denied directly or indirectly infringing or diluting Prime’s trademarks and said it is not liable for any state law claims asserted by Prime Inc.  

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