Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tough Mudder vs. Baddest Mudder

Tough Mudder has been around since 2009, staging outdoor endurance and obstacle courses throughout the country.  A number of friends have participated in these events.  They sound cool, but the idea of allowing someone to shock me with electricity doesn't appeal to me so I've not yet signed up.  Apparently, there's another challenger in town -- Baddest Mudder.  Baddest Mudder has scheduled an event in November of this year in Brooksville.   Baddest Mudder also includes the following disclaimer on its website:
We want to notify the general public and all others that Tough Mudder LLC. is in no WAY shape or form related to, operated by, directed by or affiliated with "BADDEST MUDDER"
All We r... Is what we r...
Welcome To The Badlands
Tough Mudder sued Baddest Mudder for trademark infringement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution, and trademark cyberpiracy.  To speed things along, Tough Mudder also sought a temporary restraining order pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P.  65(b).  A pretty aggressive approach.  As a refresher, temporary restraining orders, prohibiting an adverse party from doing something without notice,  are proper only when:
1) specific facts clearly show that immediate and irreparable harm will result before the adverse party can be heard; and
2) the moving party certifies in writing any efforts to give notice and the reasons why notice should not be required.

Here, Tough Mudder's TRO argument addresses the standards for a preliminary injunction, but did not specifically identify what the immediate irreparable harm was.  Instead, the irreparable harm complained of was, expectedly, the injury to Tough Mudder's goodwill.   Tough Mudder filed its TRO motion on a Friday.  Judge Scriven denied it the following Monday:

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(b)(1) provides that a TRO may be granted  without notice only if the party requesting the TRO can: (1) offer specific facts clearly showing that “immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the movant  before the adverse party can be heard in opposition;” and (2) the movant’s attorney certifies in writing any efforts made to give notice and the reasons why it should not be  required.  The Court has reviewed Plaintiff’s motion, memorandum, amended complaint,  and accompanying documents.  Upon consideration and review, the Court finds that a temporary restraining order without notice should not be granted since it does not clearly appear that immediate and irreparable harm will result before Defendants can be  heard in opposition.  The main event to be held by Defendants which Plaintiff claims will  cause its injury is not scheduled to be held until November 2, 2012.  Plaintiff  has not provided sufficient reasons why notice of the TRO has not been given and should not be given to Defendants.

I imagine the next motion we will see will be the preliminary injunction motion.

Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, Denied.
Tough Mudder, LLC v. La. Placa, Case No. 8:12-cv-1513 (M.D. Fla. Jul. 9, 2012) (J. Scriven)