ARK vs ARK Angels Court Case
The following is the main text of the judgement delivered by Osaka District Court on April 23, 2009.
- The defendant must not produce nor sell an products with the logo of “ARK Angels” such as wind breakers, T-shirts, caps, or calendars.
- The defendant must not put the name or logo of “Ark-Angels” on his products such as wind breakers, T-shirts, caps, or calendars. The defendant is not allowed to display such products for sale.
- The defendant must not use the name ARK Angels for any animal-related activities.
- The court orders the defendant to dispose of all products with the logo “ARK Angels” such as wind breakers, T-shirts, caps, and calendars.
- The court orders the defendant to delete the name of “ARK Angels” from any signboards, tents, business cards, and brochures。
- The defendant mst not use the domain name of “ark-angels.”
- The court orders the defendant to delete all the names and logos of “ARK Angels” on his website made on the address of 「http://ark-angels.jp
- The court orders the defendant to pay the plaintiff 1, 100, 000 yen and its interest (5% a year calculating back from 1 January 2007)
- The court dismisses other demands made by the plaintiff.
- The defendant must pay half the expense for running this trial, and the rest must be paid by the plaintiff。
- A part of this sentence (i.e. articles, 1, 3, 6, 8) can be enforced temporarily before the judgement becomes final and binding
Explanation (written by ARK lawyers)
To sum up, the court ordered Mr. Hayashi to stop using the name ARK Angels, stop selling the ARK Angels goods, dispose of them all, and to pay ￥1, １00, 000 yen to ARK as compensation. ARK greatly appreciates this judgement. All of ARK’s demands were met and we won the case.
The case includes various points of legal contoversy, but the most important point is that the court clearly agreed the the following points are both true:
- The names “ARK” and “ARK Angels” are confusing and lead to misunderstanding.
- ARK never gave Mr. Hayashi permission to use the name “ARK Angels” to carry out his own activities.
Following this court decision, Mr. Hayashi can no longer use the name “ARK Angels”. The case will more to the Osaka High Cout if Mr. Hayashi appeals, but even if he does, we are confidant that the judgement will not be overturned.