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Someone sued me for trademark infringement and unfair

Someone sued me for...

Someone sued me for trademark infringement and unfair competition. there is NO dollar amount for damages in original pleading. they just got a default SIGNED BY THE CLERK, with no dollar amount. is my case over now??

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the trademark federally registered?

Yes

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a local attorney? Has anything been filed in court?

It's out of state. yes, they filed a motion for default but with no dollar amount for damages. the court clerk signed off on it.

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/18/2018
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10,210
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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I'm very sorry to hear about your situation. At this stage, your case isn't over because they didn't put a dollar amount; however, this means that you can request with the court they dismiss the action because they failed to state a claim.

The failure to state a claim under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b). You could draft up this motion on 28-line pleading paper as I have attached and file it with the court.

When you are done, you should you should go to www.thumbtack.com and find a process server. A process server is a person who will file and serve a copy of the motion on the other party.

What other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
does this default entered by the court clerk (as opposed to Judge) mean my case is over?

Generally, it does, but because no damages were awarded, it's impossible for the other party to collect. Thus, I think that you should submit it that motion to dismiss.

One other thing you could do is submit a motion to set aside the default judgment on the grounds that there are no damages stated in their request and if there are no orders by the judge, then the other party cannot collect. So, at a minimum, the court should at least give you a chance to defend yourself or at least defend the amount of damages supposedly suffered by the opposing party.

Did you have any other questions for me today that I could help you with?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
are they able to get a dollar amount judgement or would they have to sue me again?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
oh sorry. I just saw your answer

No problem . Sometimes there's a delay in the responses. Did you have any other questions for me today?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
what happens if I just do nothing?

It is possible that the other party will go to back to court to try to get a final amount on the judgment. If you continue not to pay after the court has awarded a specific amount, the court may award them a lien or a garnishment of some of your wages. Thus, my recommendation is to a) figure out how much is supposedly owed; b) consider the dismissal request as I mentioned; and c) work on a settlement with the other party to help limit your liability.

What other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
don't they have to prove damages before the court will give them a judgement?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
if they were going to do that, wouldn't they have had to get the default with a judge to sign off on it? instead of a clerk? there was no dollar amount listed, even in the original pleading.

Yes, the judge's signature needs to be on it. Thus, I would recommend submitting this motion so you can get clarity.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
will a judge just award a random amount, or do these people have to actually prove "damages"?

They have to prove the adequacy and accuracy of their damages before the judge will sign off.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
If they have to go in front of a judge to get an actual default judgement amount wouldn't they have filed as a Court Default Judgement? It's my understanding that a Clerk Default Judgment is obtained when the relief sought is fixed??

Let me check on something real quick, ok?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
ok!!

Ok, so generally the clerk default is just a way to get the win, but a judge still has to authorize the amount. If they want a specific amount, they have to request a judge's approval.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
that would entail proving damages to the judge for amount requested, right?

Correct!

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
is there a statue of limitations for them to do that?

What state is this in?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
KY. I live in TN, but they sued me in KY which is where the business is located.

Ok, thanks. It's 15 years (KRS 413.110)

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
basically I will have this "default" hanging over my head for 15 years and at any time they could decide to go in front of a judge and try to prove damages. right?

Correct. The SOL is even longer in FL (20 years). It's unfortunate, but it's the law.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
BUT....in order for them to get a dollar amount, they have to PROVE damages."They have to prove the adequacy and accuracy of their damages before the judge will sign off."that's good.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you!!

You got it. So, although the case is not yet over, you don't have to pay anything until and unless the court approves their damages.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Right. I would be shocked if they wanted to spend the money to try to prove damages. It was a frivolous lawsuit to begin with. You think I should file to dismiss the action? or file to set aside the default??

Good question. Because we have hashed out the facts here a bit more carefully and after looking into your state's rules regarding this, I don't think that you need to submit any motions at this time, particularly if you didn't answer the original complaint. Moreover, the reason I wouldn't recommend any motions at this time is because they haven't received any kind of official judgment from the court and they have yet to prove their damages at all. You'll have an opportunity to appear at any court hearings if they request a default judgment by the court itself and argue that the damages request should not sustain.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
if they decided they want to go in front of a judge to try to prove damages, I will be notified, right?

Absolutely. You must be notified.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
maybe just best to let sleeping bears lie..... And if they think they want to try to prove damages in front of a judge, then I can go from there??

That's correct. This judgment doesn't require you to pay anything yet. They still have to prove it and you still have a chance to defend yourself.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
excellent. If they want to try to prove damages they would get a court date and I would be notified of that right?

Correct.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thanks!!

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Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
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Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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