28 June 2017Trademarks

Tour de France champion wins 'restraining order' in domain dispute

Three-time Tour de France champion Greg LeMond has won a "restraining order" against a father and son who allegedly registered dozens of domain names that use trademarks owned by LeMond.

The complaint was initially filed at the US District Court for the District of Minnesota on June 15, 2017.

It claimed the defendants, Frederick Stinchfield II and his son Frederick Stinchfield III, own and/or control 66 domains containing trademarks owned by LeMond.

The cyclist founded two companies to manufacture and sell “low cost carbon-fibre materials” in August 2016. Both companies market their products using the mark ‘Grail’ (US application numbers 87/191,754 and 87/191,7600).

According to the complaint, LeMond is also the owner of US trademark numbers 3,137,558 and 4,664,298 in relation to the ‘LeMond’ mark.

The domains infringed either the ‘Grail’ or ‘LeMond’ marks, and on some occasions both, claimed the suit.

LeMond was seeking damages of $100,000 per infringing domain, a transfer of the domains, a permanent injunction, and a jury trial.

On Wednesday, June 21, US District Judge John Tunheim ordered a temporary restraining order against the Stinchfields, barring them from registering any domain names “until further order of this court”.

“The court prohibits defendants from registering any domain names which incorporate or contain, or are confusingly similar to, the name Gregory LeMond or the ‘LeMond’ and ‘Grail’ mark,” said Tunheim.

Stinchfield II submitted a response to the suit yesterday, June 27, requesting he be dismissed.

He stated that he is representing himself as he has “done nothing wrong and can’t afford an attorney”, and he denied all allegations.

“I deny that I have registered or had registered for me any of the trademarks or domain names that LeMond recites in his complaint,” said Stinchfield, adding that if domains had been registered in his name, it was done without his “knowledge or consent”.

The Tour de France is an annual multiple stage bicycle race. LeMond won the race in 1986, 1989 and 1990.

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