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Au-Tomotive Gold Inc. v. Volkswagen of Am., Inc.

We are asked to decide whether the sale by Au-Tomotive Gold (“Auto Gold”) of marquee license plates bearing Volkswagen badges purchased from Volkswagen constitutes trademark infringement, or whether the sale of the plates is protected by the “first sale” doctrine. In Au-Tomotive Gold, Inc. v. Volkswagen of America, Inc. (“Auto Gold I”), 457 F.3d 1062 (9th Cir. 2006), we concluded that Auto Gold’s production and sale of automobile accessories bearing Volkswagen’s trademarks created a sufficient likelihood of confusion to constitute trademark infringement. Id. at 1078. We remanded to the district court to address Auto Gold’s “first sale” and other defenses. Id. On remand, the district court granted summary judgment and a permanent injunction to Volkswagen.

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