Good Guys Pest Control Files Complaint Against Competitor Allgood Pest Solutions Over "Good Guys of Pest Control" Slogan
On September 11, 2013, Good Guys Pest Control, Inc. (“Good Guys”) of Suwanee, Georgia filed a complaint against Allgood Services of Georgia (“Allgood”) of Georgia, Inc. of Duluth, Georgia in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division alleging federal unfair competition under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a), violation of the Georgia Deceptive Trade Practices Act O.C.G.A. § 10-1-370, et seq., violation of the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act of 1975, O.C.G.A. § 10-1-390, et seq., and fraud under O.C.G.A. § 23-2-55. The complaint also names as defendants Rufus L. Tindol, Charles L. Tindol, William T. Tindol, and James L. Allgood, Jr., each in both their individual capacities and as officers or agents of Allgood Services.
Both Good Guys and Allgood are in the commercial and residential pest control industries, specialize in termite prevention and treatment throughout the Metro Atlanta area, and are incorporated in Georgia.
In its complaint, Good Guys alleges defendants’ have used the slogans “good guys of pest control” and “good guys in pest control,” in conducting their business and that these slogans are confusingly similar to its own Good Guys Pest Control trade name. Good Guys argues that using these slogans in conjunction with sales of identical competing services violates Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act and threatens the good will and reputation for quality in the Good Guys trade name that Good Guys has developed over the past 27 years.
Good Guys claim that its mark is inherently distinctive as applied to its services and is recognized by the consuming public as an indication of origin. Although the Good Guys Pest Control trade name is not yet registered with the USPTO, registration is not necessary for Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act to serve as a basis for relief, and Good Guys did file an application for trademark registration on June 23, 2013 (App. No. 85969086).
According to the complaint, Good Guys became aware of Defendants’ use of the trade name on May 6, 2013 when Good Guys’ CEO Charles Guy observed a print advertisement containing the slogan “the good guys in pest control” in a church bulletin where he and Charles Tindol, Allgood’s Secretary, both attend. A cease and desist letter went out on June 26, 2013 but the defendants denied all claims in their July 15, 2013 reply and did not address the cease and desist demand. The complaint goes on to describe multiple allegedly infringing uses of the slogan by the defendant since the reply.
Good Guys seeks judgment that the Guys Guys Pest Control trademark has been and continues to be infringed by Allgood and that the defendants' use of the slogans constitutes unfair competition, deceptive trade practices, unfair business practice and fraud. Good Guys seeks a permanent injunction, destruction of infringing materials, a report detailing compliance with the injunction, trebled damages, trebled profits received by Allgood from sales or revenues as a result of infringing actions, costs, and attorneys' fees.
The case is Good Guys Pest Control, Inc. v. Allgood Services of Georgia, Inc. et al no. 1:13-cv-03022-TWT in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division and is assigned to Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr.