United States District Court, D. Arizona
3 Ratones Ciegos, a California limited liability company, Plaintiff,
Mucha Lucha Libre Taco Shop 1 LLC, an Arizona limited liability company,, Defendants.
G. Campbell United States District Judge.
3 Ratones Ciego, a California limited liability company, owns
and operates the Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shops in San Diego.
In December 2016, Plaintiff filed the present action against
Defendants, who operate various taco shops in Arizona. The
complaint asserts common law and statutory claims for unfair
competition and trademark and trade dress infringement. Doc.
have moved for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Rule
12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Doc. 25.
Plaintiff has filed a response in opposition to the motion
(Doc. 26), but no reply has been filed. For reasons stated
below, the motion will be denied.
operates three Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop restaurants in
San Diego. The restaurants are designed in a French Rococo
style with elaborate ornamentation and feature vibrant colors
such as hot pink and light blue with gold accents. As the
name suggests, the restaurants have a Mexican wrestling
themed décor, including displays of wrestling masks
and vintage photos of “lucha libre”
holds three federally registered trademarks associated with
its restaurants: Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop, Lucha Libre
Taco Shop, and Lucha Libre. Plaintiff claims to have used
these marks since 2007. Plaintiff also holds a trade dress
registration for the restaurant design and décor, and
has used the trade dress since 2008.
are various Arizona limited liability companies (LLCs) and
eight individuals who have an interest in the LLCs. Some of
them operate taco shops in the metro-Phoenix area. Plaintiff
claims that Defendants' use of the same color design,
décor, and Mexican wrestling theme as Plaintiff's
restaurants, and use of the names Mucha Lucha Libre Taco Shop
and Mucha Lucha Taco Shop, infringe Plaintiff's trade
dress and trademark rights and otherwise constitute unfair
complaint asserts eight related causes of action: four
federal claims for trademark infringement, trade dress
infringement, and unfair competition (counts one through
four); similar common law claims (counts five through seven);
and an Arizona trademark infringement and unfair competition
claim (count eight). Doc. 1 ¶¶ 54-129. Defendants
have moved pursuant to Rule 12(c) for judgment as a matter of
law on the trademark and corresponding unfair competition
claims (counts one, three, five, six, and eight). Doc. 25 at
Rule 12(c) Standard.
12(c) is functionally identical to Rule 12(b)(6) and the same
standard applies to motions brought under either rule.
Cafasso v. Gen. Dynamics C4 Sys., Inc., 637 F.3d
1047, 1055 (9th Cir. 2011). Thus, a successful Rule 12(c)
motion must show that the complaint lacks a cognizable legal
theory or fails to allege facts sufficient to support such a
theory. See Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't,
901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988). A complaint that sets
forth a cognizable legal theory will survive a motion for
judgment on the pleadings where it contains “sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads sufficient “factual content that allows the
court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.
(citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
do not dispute that trademarks and trade dress are legally
protectable rights. Doc. 25 at 5. Rather, they contend that
their use of “Mucha Lucha” is significantly
different from, and as a matter of law does not infringe,
Plaintiff's “Lucha Libre” marks. Defendants
note that Plaintiff's mark in English would be
“All-In Wrestling Gourmet Taco Shop, ” and assert
that this is not similar to their “Mucha Lucha Taco
Shop” name, which in English means “Much Fight
Taco Shop.” Id. at 8-10.
argues that it has alleged facts sufficient to show
protectable marks and likelihood of consumer confusion
resulting in trademark infringement by Defendants. Doc 26 at
5-9. Plaintiff further argues that Defendants' purported
statement of undisputed facts is procedurally improper, and
judgment on the pleadings otherwise is not appropriate at
this stage of the litigation. Id. at 3, 9. The Court
agrees with Plaintiff.
The Trademark Infringement and Related Unfair ...