United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
VIRGINIA M. HERNANDEZ COVINGTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court pursuant to the Motion for
Summary Judgment filed by Lazzara Custom Yachts, LLC on
September 15, 2017 (Doc. # 79), with a response in opposition
thereto filed by Opacmare USA, LLC on October 17, 2017 (Doc.
# 84), and a reply in support thereof filed by Lazzara Custom
Yachts on October 31, 2017 (Doc. # 86); the Cross Motion for
Summary Judgment filed by Opacmare on November 3, 2017 (Doc.
# 88), with a response in opposition thereto filed by Lazzara
Custom Yachts on November 30, 2017 (Doc. # 89), and a reply
in support thereof filed by Opacmare on December 18, 2017
(Doc. # 92); and the Motion for Sanctions filed by Lazzara
Custom Yachts on January 19, 2018 (Doc. # 93), with a
response in opposition thereto filed by Opacmare on February
2, 2018 (Doc. # 99).
reasons that follow, Lazzara Custom Yachts's Motion for
Summary Judgment (Doc. # 79) is granted, Opacmare's Cross
Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. # 88) is denied, and
Lazzara Custom Yachts's Motion for Sanctions (Doc. # 93)
originally brought this action seeking damages and injunctive
relief against Lazzara Custom Yachts, Joseph M. Lazzara, and
Steven B. Lazzara, for trademark infringement under 15 U.S.C.
§ 1114 and Florida common law, trademark counterfeiting
under 15 U.S.C. § 1114, unfair competition under 15
U.S.C. § 1125(a) and Florida common law, cyberpiracy
under 15 U.S.C. § 1125, and violation of the Florida
Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act under Fla. Stat.
§ 501.201 et seq. (Doc. # 44). On July 6, 2017, the
claims against Joseph and Steven Lazzara were dismissed.
(Doc. # 69).
alleged that Lazzara Custom Yachts was unlawfully using the
LAZZARA trademark, United States Trademark Registration
Number 3064907, which Opacmare claimed ownership of. (Doc. #
44 at ¶ 39). In its Answer to the Amended Complaint,
Lazzara Custom Yachts raised several affirmative defenses,
and counterclaims seeking a declaratory judgment declaring it
to be the owner of the LAZZARA Mark and a corresponding
correction of the trademark registry. (Doc. # 53).
Opacmare's motion, the Court dismissed without prejudice
the First Amended Complaint. (Doc. # 87). As such, the case
proceeds only on Lazzara Custom Yachts's counterclaims,
on which both parties now seek summary judgment. (Doc. ## 79,
88). Lazzara Custom Yachts's Motion also sought summary
judgment on the claims in the First Amended Complaint. (Doc.
# 79). However, since the First Amended Complaint has been
dismissed, the Court addresses the Motion only as to Lazzara
Custom Yachts's counterclaims.
Lazzara Custom Yachts seeks sanctions under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 11, alleging that Opacmare continues to raise
frivolous arguments in its Answer to Lazzara Custom
Yachts's counterclaims. (Doc. # 93). The Motions are ripe
judgment is proper where “the movant shows that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. Summary judgment will be granted unless
there is a “genuine issue of material fact.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1968)
(emphasis in original). An issue is genuine if there is a
“real basis in the record” on which “a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
non-movant.” Hairston v. Gainesville Sun Publ'g
Co., 9 F.3d 913, 919 (11th Cir. 1993). A fact is material if
it might affect the outcome of the suit under the applicable
substantive law. Allen v. Tyson Foods, Inc., 121 F.3d 642,
646 (11th Cir. 1997). If there is a conflict between the
allegations or evidence, all reasonable inferences should be
drawn in the non-moving party's favor. Shotz v. City of
Plantation, 344 F.3d 1161, 1164 (11th Cir. 2003). However, if
“the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational
trier of fact to find for the non-moving party, there is no
‘genuine issue for trial.'” Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co. v. Zanith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).
Rule 11 Sanctions
Rule 11, an attorney certifies that in any paper presented to
the Court, “the factual contentions have evidentiary
support (or will likely have evidentiary support after a
reasonable opportunity for further investigation or
discovery) and the legal contentions are warranted by
existing law or a nonfrivolous argument for extending or
altering existing law or for establishing new law.” Lee
v. Mid-State Land & Timber Co., 285 Fed. App'x 601,
608 (11th Cir. 2008) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 11). In addressing
a motion under Rule 11, the Court conducts a two-part
inquiry: (1) “whether the party's claims are
objectively frivolous, ” either factually or legally,
and, if so, (2) “whether the person who signed the
pleadings should have been aware that they were
frivolous.” Worldwide Primates, Inc. v. McGreal, 87
F.3d 1252, 1254 (11th Cir. 1996).