Chalk One Up for One

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Jim O'Neal Distributing Inc. in mid-February filed an appeal to overturn a recent court decision that absolved One Industries from any claim of trademark infringement.

"We committed to this case and we are looking forward to putting this matter before a jury in federal court," says O'Neal's attorney, Joseph Trojan.

A federal court in mid-February ruled that there was no evidence One Industries had infringed on O'Neal's trademark. The lawsuit began in May 2006, after O'Neal accused One Industries of trademark infringement and threatened to sue One if it did not change its name and logo. One took the matter to court, asking for a declaration that it was not infringing on O'Neal's trademark. Then O'Neal filed a countersuit against One Industries and founders Ludo Boinnard and Marc Blanchard, claiming trademark violations, trade dress infringement and unfair competition. It also sought to cancel One's registered trademarks.

One Industries has used the ONE logo and/or an O in stylized versions without the word Industries on many of its helmets. O'Neal says the artwork created confusion in the market. Trojan says O'Neal made several offers to One to allow it to use "One Industries" or "ONE IND" on its helmets, but "One refused to do so," he notes.

"The idea that O'Neal was claiming we were copying them was pretty surreal," says Marc Blanchard, designer and vice president of One Industries. — Guido Ebert