On November 5, 2021, United States District Judge Charles Eskridge of the Southern District of Texas issued an Order denying Toys R Us’ request for an emergency temporary restraining order, which sought to shut down Toyz, a competitor with several toy stores in Houston, based on allegations of intellectual property infringement.
Weeks earlier, Toys R Us filed a flurry of lawsuits across the nation against several competitor toy stores with brightly colored signage, aiming to shut them all down before the holidays.
While Toys R Us achieved their goals in other states, they faced stalwart opposition in Texas.
In the Texas lawsuit, filed on October 12, 2021, Toys R Us asked the Court to immediately shut down Toyz, a competitor toy store with several locations in Houston, including the Galleria Mall, based on spurious claims of trademark and trade dress infringement.
“When Toys R Us served us with a lawsuit and demanded for us to shut down, we were very worried. We are a small, family-owned business and getting closed down right before the holidays, especially Black Friday, would have devastated our business,” said Farida Afzal, Vice President of Toyz.
On November 4, 2021, Judge Eskridge conducted an emergency hearing on Toys R Us’ application for a temporary restraining order at the request of Toys R Us’ counsel, Baker Botts. Toyz, represented by Feras Mousilli and Lema Barazi of Lloyd & Mousilli, argued against the issuance of the restraining order and argued Toys R Us’ claims were patently meritless.
At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Charles Eskridge denied each of Toys R Us’ requests for injunctive relief, finding that Toys R Us “failed to demonstrate a substantial likelihood of success on its claims.”
“Toys R Us’ claims were overreaching and presumptuous. Toys R Us’ attempt to commandeer the entire gamut of multi-colored logos is an unprecedented and unsupportable expansion of their trademark rights that had to be curbed,” said Lloyd & Mousilli’s litigation partner, Lema Barazi. “We are very pleased with the Court’s decision,” Barazi added.
Lloyd & Mousilli is a boutique firm specializing in trademark, copyright, trade secret, and patent litigation and transactional matters and represents numerous startups around the world.
“We are proud to be the law firm clients call on when David is bullied by Goliath-sized companies. Our expertise in intellectual property matters rivals the best in the nation and we are staunch advocates of protecting small businesses,” said Feras Mousilli, managing partner at Lloyd & Mousilli.
A trial on the merits is set for late 2022.
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