Sometimes love just isn’t enough, especially when economic times are trying. A trademark feud has been brewing between two marriage counseling services, and it’s starting to get ugly.
An April 20 complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., by Marriage Savers Inc., a nonprofit group based in Potomac, Md., charges that Tennessee-based LovePath International Inc. has been selling competing products and services through its Web site with the confusingly similar domain name “marriagesaver.com” (singular).
According to the complaint, Marriage Savers, which owns the “Marriage Savers” trademark, has sold a “wide variety” of educational materials and services under that name since the early 1990s. The nonprofit contends that Joe Beam, the founder and president of LovePath International whose personal Web site boasts of his appearances on The Today Show and other talk shows, “is well aware” of Marriage Savers and its Web site “marriagesavers.com” (plural). The nonprofit says Beam has spoken at some of its conferences.
Marriage Savers seeks an injunction to stop the alleged infringement, triple damages, and a court order for LovePath to destroy any infringing products and production equipment. Marriage Savers is also charging false designation of origin, unfair competition, false advertising, cybersquatting, and unjust enrichment.
LovePath was not immediately available for comment. The marriagesaver.com site has been taken down.