Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

St. Louis University v. Rice

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

September 22, 2017

ST. LOUIS UNIVERSITY, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL TODD RICE, M.D. and MANDY RICE, D.O., Defendants.

          OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HENRY EDWARD AUTREY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [Doc. No. 4]. A hearing on the motion was held on September 14, 2017, at which counsel for the parties appeared. For the following reasons, the motion will be denied.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed this action alleging dilution of its trademarks and service marks under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c) and Mo.Rev.Stat. § 417.061, cyberpiracy under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d), and misuse of a benevolent society's name under Mo.Rev. Stat. § 417.150.1.

         Plaintiff's Complaint alleges the following[1]:

Plaintiff (“SLU”) is an institution of higher education of longstanding duration in St. Louis, Missouri. It is highly regarded by persons and businesses throughout St. Louis, has thousands of alumni, and it enjoys an exceptional reputation both locally and nationally.

         As an educational institution and a brand, SLU has become highly recognizable, particularly in the United States by its name of incorporation (St. Louis University, in use since 1832), its brand name (Saint Louis University, in use since 1832) and its official abbreviated name (SLU, in use since 1950). Several of its marks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), including SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY (No. 1, 729, 449, issued November 3, 1992) and SLU (No. 1, 731, 196, issued November 10, 1992), for use in connection with educational services (among other goods and services as well).

         For many decades, SLU has been using the ST. LOUIS UNIVERSITY, SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY and SLU names and marks (collectively, the “SLU Marks” or the “Marks”) in the marketing and promotion of its educational services, including on its website, including the homepage (www.slu.edu).

         Among other things, SLU's website devotes multiple pages to its Office of University Compliance (https://www.slu.edu/general-counsel-home/compliance), which is responsible for University policies and regulatory compliance.

         SLU offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, including a doctoral medicine (M.D.) program at St. Louis University School of Medicine (the “School of Medicine”). In addition to training future physicians in its four-year M.D. degree program, the School of Medicine also sponsors postgraduate and residency programs for medical school graduates. All of the School of Medicine's residency programs are approved and accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. SLU owns a registration for the mark SLUCARE, issued by the USPTO on February 18, 1997, for use in connection with the provision of medical care.

         Defendant Mandy Rice, D.O., is a resident in the surgery program at the School of Medicine. She is also the plaintiff in a civil lawsuit filed in St. Louis City Circuit Court arising out of the decision of her program's leadership that Mandy would have to repeat the fourth year of her surgical residency rather than being promoted to her fifth year of residency with the rest of her class, in which she seeks damages in excess of $25, 000 against SLU.

         Shortly after Defendant Mandy Rice filed her lawsuit, SLU learned of the existence of a website titled “St. Louis University School of Medicine Compliance Project (SLUCP)” at slucomplianceproject.org (“Website”). Plaintiff alleges that the Website uses the SLU Marks extensively, including in its domain name along with non-identifying terminology, in an apparent attempt to confuse internet users who may be searching for SLU or its Office of University Compliance and to draw their attention away from SLU's educational services and provision of medical care to the issues of Mandy Rice's lawsuit and the Website authors' own “educational” services regarding a competing opinion on “compliance, ” all for Mandy Rice's personal gain.

         SLU also learned of a Facebook page named “St. Louis University Compliance Project (SLUCP), ” which can be found at www.facebook.com/ slucomplianceproject, and which also allegedly uses the SLU Marks extensively, including in the page ID (“Facebook Page”) and also appears to be an attempt to “educate” persons searching the Internet for SLU or its Office of University Compliance as to the authors' own views as opposed to the educational services and/or provision of medical care offered by SLU.

         Plaintiff believes the Website and Facebook Page are operated by Defendant Michael Todd Rice, with content supplied by or ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.