Constitutional Law – Commerce Clause – Federal Jurisdiction in Trade-Mark Infringement Proceedings Under the Lanham Act
Plaintiff’s trade-mark, “Minute Maid,” had been registered under the Lanham Act in 1952 and had been used in interstate commerce in connection with the sale of frozen fruit juice concentrates since that time. Defendant’s trade-mark consisted in part of the words “Minute Made.” Defendant used its mark wholly within the State of Florida in the processing and sale of frozen meat products. Both plaintiff and defendant were Florida corporations. In a suit for trade-mark infringement, jurisdiction of the federal district court depended. on the provisions of the Lanham Act. The complaint alleged damage to plaintiff’s good will established in interstate commerce. The Lanham Act grants jurisdiction to the federal courts in suits for trade-mark infringement where the defendant has used the infringing mark “in commerce.” The district court enjoined the defendant’s use of the words “Minute Made.” On appeal, the defendant challenged the jurisdiction of the district court on the ground that the pleadings and proof did not establish that the alleged infringing mark had been used “in commerce” within the meaning of the Lanham Act. Held, affirmed. The complaint which alleged damage to plaintiff’s “good will established in interstate commerce” was sufficient to invoke the jurisdiction of the district court. Pure Foods, Inc. v. Minute Maid Corp., (5th Cir. 1954) 214 F. (2d) 792.