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Quick Time Performance.com, Inc. v. Granatelli Motor Sports, Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

October 1, 2019

QUICK TIME PERFORMANCE.COM, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
GRANATELLI MOTOR SPORTS, INC., Defendant.

          OPINION

          WILLIAM J. MATINI, U.S.D.J.

         This is a copyright infringement case. Plaintiff Quick Time Performance.com, Inc. ("Quick Time") filed this action against Granatelli Motor Sports, Inc. ("Granatelli"), alleging copyright infringement, false advertising in violation of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125, and misappropriation under N.J. Stat. § 56:4-1. The matter comes before the Court on Defendant Granatelli's motion to dismiss. ECF No. 19. For the reasons stated below, the motion is DENIED.

         ORDER

         I. BACKGROUND[1]

         Plaintiff Quick Time Performance.Com, Inc. is a New Jersey business entity that designs, manufactures, and distributes specialized automotive equipment. Am. Compl. ¶ 2, ECF No. 16. Quick Time designs and manufactures stainless steel cutouts and electric cutouts-automotive devices that cause a car exhaust system to generate distinctive sounds and increase the power flowing from the engine. Id. ¶ 10. Quick Time advertises and distributes its products through its website as well as through third-party automobile parts distributors. Id. at ¶ 12. Defendant Granatelli Motor Sports, Inc. is a California business and competitor of Quick Time. Id. at ¶ 3.

         Quick Time owns the copyright to a photograph it created in 2012 of its 2.50" Stainless Steel Exhaust Cutout, Part Number 10250 ("Quick Time Photograph"), which Quick Time published on its website and a third-party site, the Summit Racing Equipment website, for marketing purposes. Id. at ¶¶ 16, 17, 20, 21. Quick Time alleges that Granatelli infringed its copyright by using the Quick Time Photograph to advertise Granatelli products on another site, the JEGS automotive website where it was claimed that the photograph represented various iterations of the Granatelli Single and Dual Manual Exhaust Cutout System. Id. at 23-35, 39. Now before the Court is Granatelli's motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("FRCP") 12(b)(6). ECF No. 19.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides for the dismissal of a complaint, in whole or in part, if the plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The moving party bears the burden of showing that no claim has been stated. Hedges v. United States, 404 F.3d 744, 750 (3d Cir. 2005). In deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a court must take all allegations in the complaint as true and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 501 (1975).

         Although a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, "a plaintiffs obligation to provide the 'grounds' of his 'entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." BellAtl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Thus, the factual allegations must be sufficient to raise a plaintiffs right to relief above a speculative level, such that it is "plausible on its face." See Id . at 570; see also Umland v. PLANCO Fin. Serv., Inc., 542 F.3d 59, 64 (3d Cir. 2008). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).

         The Third Circuit requires district courts to conduct a three-part analysis when reviewing a complaint for dismissal for failure to state a claim:

First, the court must "tak[e] note of the elements a plaintiff must plead to state a claim." Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1947. Second, the court should identify allegations that, "because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth." Id. at 1950. Finally, "where there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement for relief." Id.

Santiago v. Warminster Twp., 629 F.3d 121, 130 (3d Cir. 2010) (footnote omitted).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff Quick Time asserts three claims against Defendant Granatelli stemming from its alleged usage of the Quick Time Photograph: (1) copyright infringement, (2) unfair competition and false advertising under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, (3) unfair competition and false ...


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