Bid to Stop LegalZoom Trademark Registration Services Fails

  • United States
  • 04/12/2018
  • Bloomberg Law

A California federal judge tossed out a trademark law firm’s complaint that engages in the unauthorized practice of law, false advertising, and unfair competition.

LegalForce RAPC Worldwide P.C., of Mountain View, Calif., claimed in its complaint that it is “the largest law firm filer of trademarks” in the U.S.

LegalForce sought a court order enjoining LegalZoom from preparing and filing trademark applications at the Patent and Trademark Office. The complaint added the PTO and various state bars as defendants for failing to enforce rules governing the legal profession by allowing LegalZoom to provide those services.

Judge Maxine M. Chesney of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed the complaint.

LegalForce failed to identify that it has “suffered an injury in fact” to establish a controversy between it and LegalZoom, Chesney said. LegalForce’s chargesunder federal law for alleged false or misleading statements in advertising, contained “no factual allegations to support a finding that LegalZoom’s advertising has had any effect on LegalForce’s commercial interests or its reputation,” she said.

Chesney dismissed California state charges for effectively the same reason-LegalForce’s failure to identify exactly how it is being harmed. Chesney gave LegalForce the opportunity to amend its pleadings and refile.

LegalForce was represented by corporate counsel. Cooley LLP, San Diego, represented LegalZoom, which is based in Glendale, Calif.

The case is LegalForce RAPC Worldwide, P.C. v., Inc. , N.D. Cal., No. 17-cv-07194-MMC, 4/10/18.