Since 2013, Plaintiff has used the trademark THE ANNEX in connection with nine student housing facilities in three states. Seven of the student housing facilities are in Indiana and one is in Marion, Ohio (one hour north of Columbus). Plaintiff has no trademark registration.
Defendant recently built a student housing facility in Oxford, Ohio (home of the Miami University RedHawks) called, you guessed it, Annex.
With plans to expand to other college towns, Plaintiff maintains that Defendant’s use of a similar name will cause consumer confusion. Unable to resolve their dispute with cease-and-desist communications, Plaintiff has filed this lawsuit to assert its rights to THE ANNEX in the Midwest.
Whether they wind up being called “Annex” or not, the new Oxford apartments should do fine. A nice pool and allegedly the largest clubhouse in Oxford. Looking at their Facebook page though, it will be a big shame to lose of all the cool Annex swag. They even have an “Annex”-branded shuttle bus. Based on Plaintiff’s dependence on common law rights and Defendant’s already substantial investment, I could see the Oxford team putting up a strong defense.
Stay tuned for updates.
Mecca Companies Inc. d/b/a Annex Student Living v. Trinitas Ventures LLC
Court Case Number: 1:16-cv-02499-WTL-MJD
File Date: Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Plaintiff: Mecca Companies Inc. d/b/a Annex Student Living
Plaintiff Counsel: Bradley M. Stohry of Reichel Story LLP
Defendant: Trinitas Ventures
Cause: Trademark Infringement, Unfair Competition, Violation of Ohio Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Common Law Unfair Competition
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: William T. Lawrence
Referred To: Mark J. Dinsmore