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Superior Consulting Services, Inc. v. Shaklee Corp.

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division

May 22, 2018

SUPERIOR CONSULTING SERVICES, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
SHAKLEE CORPORATION and SHAKLEE U.S., LLC, Defendants.

          ORDER

          GREGORY A. PRESNELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on the Plaintiff's Daubert Motion to exclude the expert report of Lloyd Morgenstern (Doc. 213), and the Defendants Response in Opposition (Doc. 232).

         I. Factual Background and Procedural History

         Superior owns two Florida fictitious business entities called “Your Future Health” and “YFH” (collectively “Superior”). Doc. 20 ¶ 5. Eleanor Cullen owns and operates Superior. Superior's “primary objective is the early detection of disease, through performing certain laboratory tests, including blood tests, for consumers.” Id. ¶ 7. Superior accomplishes its objective by creating a profile “customized to a client's unique biochemistry, ” called a “Healthprint.” Id. ¶ 11. Superior has registered the mark “Healthprint” twice with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). Registration number 2646571 was obtained on November 5, 2002, and registration number 2928465 was obtained on March 1, 2005. Doc. 20 ¶¶ 14, 16. The USPTO did not require proof of a secondary meaning for either mark. Id. ¶ 18. On November 8, 2008, and February 5, 2011, Superior filed declarations of incontestability for the marks.

         On June 8, 2016, Shaklee, a corporation that manufactures and distributes nutritional supplements, beauty products, and household-cleaning products, filed a trademark application with the USPTO claiming a similar “Healthprint” mark. Shaklee's Healthprint refers to a free, online survey that consists of twenty-two questions about a client's personal characteristics, habits, and goals. Doc. 43-8 ¶ 13. Once the client answers all of the questions, he or she is presented with “a customized set of Shaklee products that fits [his or her] health goals, needs and budget.” Doc. 43- 7, Ex. 1 at 1.

         On December 14, 2017, Superior filed its Second Amended Complaint alleging trademark infringement and violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. Doc. 159. On January 2, 2018, Shaklee filed its Answer, Affirmative Defenses, and Counterclaim. Doc. 166. On January 12, 2018, Superior filed the Daubert Motion to exclude the December 18, 2017 expert report of Lloyd Morgenstern. Doc. 213. Shaklee filed its Response on February 2, 2018. Doc. 232.

         II. Legal Standards

         Federal Rule of Evidence 702 governs the admission of expert witness testimony. It provides that:

A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if:
(a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.

Fed. R. Evid. 702. The proponent of the opinion testimony has the burden of establishing each precondition to admissibility by a preponderance of the evidence. Rink v. Cheminova, ...


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