The Plaintiff in this lawsuit is Sears Authorized Hometown Stores, LLC (“SAHS”), the licensor of Sears Hometown stores, which offer SAHS’s merchandise, such as major home appliances, for sale to the public on consignment from SAHS. For over 25 years, SAHS licensed a Sears Hometown store in Corydon, Indiana through dealership agreements with a series of independent dealers.
The Defendants are accused of using “their personal relationships with SAHS’s former dealer to block SAHS’s access to the market and open their own store, “Schneider’s Hometown,” at the same location as the former Sears Hometown store. Defendants are now unfairly trading off SAHS’s name and goodwill in the Corydon market.”
The Complaint (below) details the history between the original Corydon SAHS store and the Defendants, including the actions of the Defendants in abandoning their own dealer agreement.
The Defendants are also accused of using a sign designed to be confusingly similar to the sign used to designate a Sears Hometown store, including using the same font and color scheme. The interior of the Defendants’ store allegedly uses the same trade dress and fixtures used in SAHS’s branding programs, including, but not limited to, the paint colors and trim and vinyl plank wood flooring. The Defendants also continue to use the same phone number from the SAHS store.
Stay tuned for updates.
Sears Authorized Hometown Stores, LLC v. Lynn Retail, Inc. et al.
Case Number: 4:21-cv-00091-JMS-DML
File Date: Friday, June 4, 2021
Plaintiff: Sears Authorized Hometown Stores, LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Michael W. Oyler of Furman Nilsen & Oyler, PLLC, Fredric A. Cohen, Allison R. Grow, Charles J. Hoover of Cheng Cohen LLC
Defendant: Lynn Retail, Inc., Jerry Schneider, Laura Schneider
Cause: Unfair Competition, Tortious Interference with Contract, Tortious Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Jane Magnus-Stinson
Referred To: Debra McVicker Lynch