Mohl v. Dymo Corp.
This lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, sought to guarantee Rene F. Mohl of Ponce Inlet, Fla., the right to tell eBay users that he is selling printer labels compatible with printers made by Dymo, a Stamford, Conn., company. Because Mohl’s printer label listings on eBay are a form of speech, they are protected by the First Amendment. However, Dymo complained to eBay, erroneously claiming that Mohl’s use of Dymo’s name and part numbers for compatibility purposes infringed Dymo’s trademarks and that use of the labels would void consumers’ printer warranties. Mohl was forced to stop using the “Dymo” name in his listings and, as a result, consumers had a more difficult time locating his lower-priced compatible labels. After Public Citizen Litigation Group filed suit on Mohl’s behalf, Dymo agreed to settle the case, acknowledging that its actions were improper and compensating Mohl for lost sales. Dymo also took steps to ensure that this kind of problem does not recur.