Reversing the district court’s grant of a preliminary injunction against defendants’ use of the mark “The Platters” in connection with a vocal group, the panel held that the likelihood of irreparable harm must be established, rather than presumed, by a plaintiff seeking injunctive relief in the trademark context.
The panel affirmed the district court’s holding that earlier New York actions did not have res judicata effect. The panel also held that the plaintiff was not barred by laches from challenging defendants’ use of the mark.
As to the plaintiff’s likelihood of success on the trademark infringement claim, the panel held that the district court did not err in concluding that the defendants failed to meet their burden of strictly proving the affirmative defense of trademark abandonment.
The panel held that in light of eBay v. MarcExchange, LLC, 547 U.S. 388 (2006), and Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7 (2008), a plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction in a trademark infringement case must establish irreparable harm. The panel concluded that even though the district court identified the correct legal principle, the record did not support a determination of the likelihood of irreparable harm.