On trademark, the court accepted Summit’s argument that it owned a valid, protectable mark in a stylized, block-lettered TWILIGHT, and Beckett displayed a virtually identical mark in the fanzines, including on the outside front covers and pull-out posters. Moreover, Summit has licensed its mark for a “seemingly endless” list of goods, including posters, which both indicated the strength of the mark and the relatedness of the goods. In the absence of opposing evidence or argument, the court found likely success on the merits.
The court then presumed irreparable injury for both causes of action, despite Beckett’s argument that it had voluntarily ceased the troublesome activities, recalling the fanzines, terminating the eBay auction, and removing the offending cover image from its Facebook page. But as of the day Beckett’s opposition was filed, the fanzines were still “widely available” in retail stores and over the internet. Thus the dispute was not moot. Then, the balance of hardships followed: if an injunction was wrongly denied, Summit’s copyrights and trademarks are “at risk of being devalued,” while granting an injunction would just force Beckett to keep doing what it said it would (cease all offending activity). And there’s a public interest in vindicating copyright rights and avoiding confusion.
The court did agree with Beckett’s objection to the scope of the requested injunction, which would cover fair use as well as foul. Thus, any injunction needed to make express allowance for §107 fair use, and also needed to define Summit’s marks expressly, especially if any marks other than the stylized TWILIGHT were to be covered.
HT Eric Goldman; further discussion here.