Safelite Group Inc. (Safelite) responded to the summary judgement motion Richard Campfield, Ultra Bond, Inc. (Ultra Bond) owner and president, filed in Ohio’s federal court. Safelite states Campfield’s motion should be denied in its entirety and a summary judgement should be entered in Safelite’s favor on Ultra Bond’s Lanham Act claim and on Safelite’s counterclaim. The court has yet to issue a response to Safelite’s filed document.
“Richard Campfield and Ultra Bond, Inc. (plaintiffs) have waged war against the vehicle glass repair and replacement (VGRR) industry, including Safelite, for years, cobbling together universally rejected legal theories in an attempt to sue their way into market presence,” a portion of Safelite’s response reads.
Throughout the company’s response it mentions how the plaintiffs have yet to prove every element of a Lanham Act violation. The Lanham Act is the federal statute that governs trademarks, service marks, and unfair competition. Safelite also notes the plaintiffs in the suit “fail to show that Safelite has actually engaged in any ‘organized campaign’ related to the dollar bill rule.”
According to Safelite’s response, two of the reasons it provided as to why a judgement should be in its favor are:
- The plaintiffs have not identified any commercial advertising or promotion; and
- The plaintiffs fail to identify any specific false statement actually used in Safelite’s commercial advertising.
“Plaintiffs fail to show that any statement regarding long-crack safety was attributable to Safelite at all, much less communicated outside of Safelite or ‘widely disseminated’,” a portion of Safelite’s filed response reads.
Safelite also states both Campfield and Ultra Bond should not be entitled to a summary judgement on Safelite’s counterclaims. The reason being – how the plaintiffs obtained its information about the company.
“To obtain this information, plaintiffs conspire with [Brian] Ladage [former Safelite employee] to access Safelite’s computer systems without its knowledge or authorization. Plaintiffs got what they wanted – the evidence shows that plaintiffs’ conduct harmed Safelite,” a portion of Safelite’s response reads.
The lawsuit began in 2015 when Campfield alleged Safelite had misleading advertising that favors replacement of windshields rather than repairs of long cracks, which have “wiped out a large portion (if not most) of the market for Ultra Bond’s products and services.” Campfield claimed Safelite’s advertisements and statements were false and damaged his business, which according to court documents, does windshield repairs with long cracks.
Ultra Bond developed a method of repairing windshield cracks that exceeded six inches in length and announced “its breakthrough in windshield repair around the same time Safelite began advertising all windshields must be replaced if it has a crack with or exceeding six inches, according to court documents. Following Safelite’s requests to dismiss the lawsuit the court decided to partially dismiss certain allegations mentioned in Campfield’s amended complaint.
Currently the Ohio court has yet to respond to Safelite’s response to the plaintiff’s summary judgement motion. Look to a future edition for more updates on this suit.