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Traeger Pellet Grills LLC v. Dansons U.S. LLC

United States District Court, D. Arizona

December 3, 2019

Traeger Pellet Grills LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
Dansons U.S. LLC, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Douglas L. Rayes United States District Judge

         Before the Court is Plaintiff Traeger Pellet Grills LLC's (“Traeger Grills”) second motion for preliminary injunction, which is fully briefed. (Docs. 58, 65, 66.) For the following reasons, Traeger Grills' motion is denied.[1]

         I. Background [2]

         On October 3, 2019, the Court issued an order enjoining Dansons U.S. LLC (“Dansons”) from:

1. Using or assisting or consenting to others in using or publishing, in any manner, the Traeger name, images of the Traeger Barn location in Mt. Angel, Oregon, images of Joe or Brian Traeger, references to Joe as the founder or creator of the pellet grill (collectively the “Traeger Intellectual Property”) in connection with the advertising, marketing, or sale of wood pellet grills and associated products;
2. Publishing, in any manner, any statement that affiliates in any way Joe Traeger, Brian Traeger, or Traeger Grills with Dansons U.S. LLC, Louisiana Grills, Pit Boss, the Founders Series grills, Dan Thiessen, Jordan Thiessen, Jeff Thiessen or Dansons' products or endorses Dansons U.S. LLC, Louisiana Grills, Pit Boss, the Founders Series grills, or any Dansons grill-related product; and
3. Arranging any public appearance anywhere in the United States that communicates an endorsement by Joe Traeger or Brian Traeger of Dansons' U.S. LLC, Louisiana Grills, Pit Boss, the Founders Series grills, or any other Dansons grill-related product.

(Doc. 53 at 18.) On October 17, 2019, Traeger Grills filed a motion asking for clarification whether the Court's October 3, 2019 order enjoined Dansons from marketing its products under the “Founders Series” name or, in the alternative, for a preliminary injunction enjoining such behavior. (Doc. 58.) The same day, the Court clarified that its October 3, 2019 order did not enjoin Dansons from continuing to market its products under the “Founders Series” name, thereby transforming Traeger Grills' October 17, 2019 motion into its second motion for preliminary injunction. (Doc. 60.) The motion is now ripe.

         II. Legal Standard

         “A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest.” Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008); Am. Trucking Ass'n, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles, 559 F.3d 1046, 1052 (9th Cir. 2009). These elements may be balanced on a sliding scale, whereby a stronger showing of one element may offset a weaker showing of another. See Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1131, 1134-35 (9th Cir. 2011). But the sliding-scale approach does not relieve the movant of the burden to satisfy all four prongs for the issuance of a preliminary injunction. Id. at 1135. Instead, “‘serious questions going to the merits' and a balance of hardships that tips sharply towards the plaintiff can support issuance of a preliminary injunction, so long as the plaintiff also shows that there is a likelihood of irreparable injury and that the injunction is in the public interest.” Id. at 1135. The movant bears the burden of proof on each element of the test. Envtl. Council of Sacramento v. Slater, 184 F.Supp.2d 1016, 1027 (E.D. Cal. 2000).

         III. Discussion

         Having carefully considered the parties' briefs, the Court finds that Traeger Grills has not met its burden under the preliminary injunction test.

         A. Likelihood of Success on the Merits

         1. Right of ...


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