Cancellation of U.S. Registration, Common Law Unfair Competition, Conversion, Counterfeiting, Deception, False Designation of Origin, Federal Trademark Infringement, Federal Unfair Competition, Forgery, State Trademark Infringement, Theft
The plaintiff in this trademark lawsuit, Freedom Mortgage Corporation, has been providing mortgage banking services using its FREEDOM MORTGAGE trademark since December 1992. Freedom Mortgage also has a wholly owned subsidiary called Roundpoint which has provided mortgage banking services since January 2009.
In April 2021, the defendant, Freedompoint, LLC, began using the trademark FREEDOMPOINT in connection with mortgage banking services. The FREEDOMPOINT trademark was registered with the USPTO in August 2021 having received no “likelihood of confusion” refusal during the application process.
It seems that Freedom Mortgage disagrees with the USPTO, believing that there does exist a likelihood of confusion, considering FREEDOMPOINT to be an infringing combination of the FREEDOM MORTGAGE and ROUNDPOINT marks.
The combination argument is interesting, perhaps suggesting that consumers would incorrectly surmise that Freedom Mortgage, owner of the Roundpoint subsidiary, had simply merged the two companies. However, do consumers even know that Roundpoint is a wholly owned subsidiary of Freedom Mortgage? I reviewed both the Freedom Mortgage and Roundpoint websites and don’t see any mentions of the other company.
If consumers don’t have any reason to associate Roundpoint with Freedom Mortgage, then really there are just two applicable comparisons…Freedom Mortgage v. Freedompoint and Roundpoint vs. Freedompoint. The USPTO didn’t consider either to be confusingly similar but perhaps more “combination” evidence will be available for this lawsuit.
Stay tuned for Freedompoint’s Answer.
Freedom Mortgage Corporation v. Freedompoint, LLC
Court Case Number: 4:23-cv-00022-TWP-KMB
File Date: February 14, 2023
Plaintiff: Freedom Mortgage Corporation
Plaintiff Counsel: Louis T. Perry of Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
Defendant: Freedompoint, LLC
Cause: Federal Trademark Infringement, Federal Unfair Competition, False Designation of Origin, State Trademark Infringement, Common Law Unfair Competition, Cancellation of U.S. Registration, Deception, Conversion, Forgery, Counterfeiting, Theft
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Tanya Walton Pratt
Referred To: Kellie M. Barr