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Southern Grouts & Mortars v. 3M Company

Southern Grouts & Mortars, Inc. sells swimming pool finishes under the trademark DIAMOND BRITE and would like to register and use the domain name, diamondbrite.com, to advertise and sell its products. The problem for Southern Grouts is that its competitor in the swimming pool finishing industry, 3M Company, owns the registration. When 3M obtained the registration for diamondbrite.com, it also had trademark rights in the DIAMOND BRITE mark but not for use with pool finishing products. Instead, the mark was registered for use in connection with “electronically controlled display panels and signs.” Those trademark rights have lapsed, but 3M has continued to re-register the domain name. 3M displays no content on the website and has no intention of doing so. Southern Grouts sued 3M in district court, alleging that 3M’s continued registration of the domain name violated the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d), and constituted unfair competition under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a). The district court granted summary judgment in favor of 3M. Southern Grouts appeals that judgment as well as the district court’s denial of its motion to amend its second amended complaint.

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