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Precinct Complaint

Precinct Complaint

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Published by Nancy Stiles
Jeff Ruby's complaint against MWS, LLC.
Jeff Ruby's complaint against MWS, LLC.

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Published by: Nancy Stiles on Apr 23, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI EASTERN DIVISION THE PRECINCT, INC., ) an Ohio corporation, ) ) Case No. Plaintiff, ) JURY TRIAL DEMANDED ) vs. ) ) MWS, LLC, a Missouri Limited Liability ) Company D/B/A THE PRECINCT ) ) Serve: John Pawloski ) 1900 Locust Street, Suite 302 ) Saint Louis, MO 63103 ) ) Defendant. )
Plaintiff The Precinct, Inc. (“The Precinct” or “Plaintiff”), by and through its undersigned attorneys, and for its complaint for trademark infringement, unfair competition and false designation of origin against defendant MWS LLC (“Defendant”), states as follows:
This is a trademark infringement, unfair competition and false designation of origin suit  brought against Defendant. The Precinct is and has, since 1981, owned and operated the nationally-renowned PRECINCT® restaurant located in Cincinnati, Ohio. During this time, The PRECINCT® has been acclaimed by both national media outlets and those in the culinary industry as one of the highest regarded and recognized restaurants in the United States. The Precinct has obtained a federal registration for “PRECINCT” for restaurant and bar services, which has achieved a nationwide reputation of the highest quality in restaurant services. Defendant, despite being intimately familiar with the high quality dining experience and
Case: 4:13-cv-02391-SNLJ Doc. #: 1 Filed: 11/25/13 Page: 1 of 19 PageID #: 1
impeccable reputation of the PRECINCT® restaurant, has knowingly adopted a nearly identical trademark in order to confuse the public into the mistaken belief that it is affiliated, franchised, sponsored by, or otherwise associated with the iconic PRECINCT® restaurant. Despite prior demands that it cease these infringing activities, Defendant refuses and continues to improperly use the term “Precinct” to brand its restaurant and bar services in St. Louis, Missouri when it has no lawful right or endorsement from Plaintiff to do so. Such use constitutes willful trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1051,
et. seq
., as well as violations of Missouri common law trademark infringement and unfair competition.
The Precinct, Inc. is, and at all times material hereto has been, a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Ohio, maintaining a place of business located at 700 Walnut Street, Suite 200, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202. The Precinct is an affiliate of Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment, Inc., which also owns and operates a number of highly-rated and recognized restaurants, including Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse®, Precinct®, Carlo & Johnny® and Waterfront®, and is in the common ownership of Jeff Ruby, one of the nation’s preeminent restaurateurs. 2.
The Precinct is the owner of certain intellectual property associated with its restaurant and bar services, including the federally registered trademark “PRECINCT,” as is more specifically identified below. 3.
Upon information and belief, defendant MWS, LLC (“Defendant”) is, and at all times material hereto has been, an entity existing under the laws of the State of Missouri, having a principal office and place of business located at 1900 Locust Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri.
Case: 4:13-cv-02391-SNLJ Doc. #: 1 Filed: 11/25/13 Page: 2 of 19 PageID #: 2
Upon information and belief, members of Defendant include Mark Winfield and Jim Edmonds. Upon further information and belief, Edmonds has knowingly participated in and  purposefully directed the infringing activities of Defendant complained of herein.
This action arises under the Federal Trademark Act of 1946, as amended, 15 U.S.C. §1051
et seq
. The claims set forth herein are for trademark infringement in violation of 15 U.S.C. §§1114(1); unfair competition and false designation of origin in violation of 15 U.S.C. §1125(a); and violations of common and state law rights pursuant to Missouri law. This Court has jurisdiction over this matter and the parties pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1338(a) and (b), and 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). 6.
Venue is proper in this District pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) because a substantial part of the events giving rise to this action occurred in this District, including the offer and sale of infringing restaurant and bar services (“Infringing Services”) to residents of this District.
As noted, the PRECINCT® restaurant and bar is the flagship in a stable of fine-dining and drinking establishments operated by Jeff Ruby. The iconic PRECINCT® restaurant is Cincinnati’s longest continually-running fine-dining establishment having first opened its doors in 1981. 8.
The PRECINCT® restaurant and bar was born in the former Cincinnati Police Patrol House Number 6. True to its namesake, the PRECINCT® features a décor and dress focused on its police headquarters heritage with historic police memorabilia displayed throughout the facility, true and correct depictions of which are attached hereto as Exhibit A.
Case: 4:13-cv-02391-SNLJ Doc. #: 1 Filed: 11/25/13 Page: 3 of 19 PageID #: 3

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