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Heartland Animal Clinic, P.A. v. Heartland SPCA Animal Medical Center, LLC, et al.

Case Summary: 11-cv-2629

On November 14, 2011, plaintiff Heartland Animal Clinic, P.A. filed a complaint for injunctive relief in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas against defendants Heartland SPCA Animal Medical Center, LLC, Heartland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Inc., and Heartland SPCA Pet Adoption and Lost Pet Center, LLC. The complaint asserts a claim for service mark infringement in violation of federal law. Specifically, the complaint alleges that plaintiff has generated substantial rights in its service mark in connection with veterinary services for pets in the Kansas City metropolitan area and that defendants' choice of name has caused confusion and mistake as to the affiliation, connection, or association of plaintiff's service mark with defendants. Defendants deny liability.

On February 14, 2012, plaintiff filed a motion for preliminary injunctive relief, seeking to enjoin defendants from using the name Heartland to market veterinary services in the Kansas City metropolitan area while the litigation is pending. Defendants opposed the motion.

The court heard oral argument on plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction on March 16, 2012 and orally ruled in favor of plaintiff. The court memorialized the order on March 21, 2012, ordering that the injunction would take full and immediate effect on April 16, 2012. On April 2, 2012, defendants filed a notice of interlocutory appeal.

Case Highlights

  • Complaint filed 11/14/11 [Doc #1]
  • Answer and Counterclaim filed 1/5/12 [Doc #19]
  • Motion for Preliminary Injunction filed 2/14/12 [Doc #30]
  • Opposition to PI filed 2/28/12 [Doc #36]
  • Reply filed 3/2/12 [Doc #39]
  • Hearing on Motion 3/16/12 [Doc # 47]
  • Memorandum and Order granting PI filed 3/21/12 [Doc #48]

Case-related documents, including those referenced above, are available via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. For more information, visit