Torrance, CA–Proton Corp., manufacturer of digital TVs, LCD TVs, and HDTV products, has won a preliminary injunction that will bar Prosonic Group from any further use or distribution of materials and products with the “Protron” name or trademark.
U.S. District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner, Central District of California, approved the granting of the injunction, pending issuance of a bond, in response to a trademark infringement complaint filed recently by Proton. Proton charged Prosonic with improperly using the brand name “Protron” to sell directly competing products, including flat-panel LCD screens, and improperly trying to register “Protron” as a brand.
In awarding the injunction, Judge Klausner commented that since Prosonic “began selling televisions under the Protron mark, Plaintiff’s salespeople have received several complaints from customers who have confused Protron with Proton televisions. Other customers have come to Plaintiff for technical service regarding Defendants’ televisions. Plaintiff has also seen advertisements issued by retailers which confuse the two brands,” including store flyers “which depict Protron DVD players mislabeled as Proton devices.”
For these and other reasons, including the verbal and visual similarity of “Protron” to Proton, Judge Klausner concluded that use of the “Protron” name and mark creates “a likelihood of confusion” among consumers and “a presumption of irreparable harm” to Proton.
The Protron named already has appeared in advertisements by Prosonic for LCD displays priced significantly below those manufactured and marketed by Proton.