Bally Total Fitness v. Faber

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

02/23/1998

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

California

Disposition: 

Dismissed (total)
Injunction Denied
Settled (total)

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
In February 1998, Bally Total Fitness sued Andrew Faber, a former Bally customer who created a website entitled BallySucks (now defunct), which was dedicated to collecting complaints about Bally's health club business and included modified versions of Bally's trademarks with... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Andrew S. Faber

Type of Party: 

Organization

Type of Party: 

Individual

Location of Party: 

  • California
  • Delaware

Location of Party: 

  • California

Legal Counsel: 

Gary P. Simonian (Keats McFarland and Wilson); Kirk N. Sullivan, Jody Damon Angel (Moore Winter Skebba & McLennan)
Description

In February 1998, Bally Total Fitness sued Andrew Faber, a former Bally customer who created a website entitled BallySucks (now defunct), which was dedicated to collecting complaints about Bally's health club business and included modified versions of Bally's trademarks with the word "sucks" across them.  The complaint alleged trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition.

Bally moved for a temporary restraining order against Faber to force him to take down the website, but the court denied Bally's motion in April 1998. In October 1998, Bally moved for summary judgment on its claims. The court again rejected the motion, and instead ordered Faber to bring a motion for summary judgment. Faber so moved, and the court granted the motion in December 1998.

The court found that Faber's "Bally sucks" site promoted separate, distinct "goods" from Bally's services and would not confuse reasonable consumers. Further, the court said that even if the two "goods" had been related, the trademark infringement balancing test from AMF Inc. v. Sleekcraft Boats, 599 F.2d 341, 348-49 (9th Cir. 1979) weighed heavily in favor of Faber.

Following the grant of summary judgment, Bally appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. However, on June 13, 2000, the appeal was dismissed by stipulation of the parties.

Details

Content Type: 

  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Forum

Subject Area: 

  • Trademark
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • California

Source of Law: 

  • United States

Court Name: 

United States District Court for the Central District of California

Court Type: 

Federal

Case Number: 

2:98-cv-01278 (trial); 99-55345 (appeal)

Relevant Documents: 

CMLP Information (Private)

CMLP Notes: 

PACER doesn't have most of the documents from this case, for some reason.