Two companies located in Massachusetts have been in competition with each other over designing, building, and selling boat stands. Recently however, that dispute spilled over into the intellectual property arena.
Originally the Mattapoisett, MA, located Kavanaugh-Brownell Boat Stands, LLC (Kavanaugh) sued the Fairhaven, MA, located Brownell Trailers, LLC (BT) over use of the ‘BROWNELL’ trademark. In that first suit Judge Young presiding over the case determined that BT could continue to sell its boat stands under the ROK trademark so long as the mark made it clear to consumers that the products for sale were boat stands. BT then adopted the above ‘ROK’ trademark which was approved by Judge Young. In conjunction with adoption of the ROK mark, BT also registered and began use of www.rokboatstands.com.