NinnWorx_SR Loses Request for Injunction Against Michael Ninn

Tod Hunter
LOS ANGELES — NinnWorx_SR's request for a preliminary injunction against director Michael Ninn to continue to use that name was turned down at U.S. District Court Monday. Ninn's request for sanctions on the grounds that NinnWorx_SR had acted in bad faith was also turned down.

In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank denied NinnWorx_SR's motion, saying "Plaintiffs have not made an adequate showing of either probable success on the merits or the existence of serious questions going to the merits. On common law trademark infringement grounds, Plaintiffs provide insufficient support for their argument that the Ninn Marks are valid, protectable trademarks. Moreover, Plaintiff do not sufficiently show that they now own the marks. Plaintiffs’ briefing on unfair competition grounds is inadequate, particularly in light of the above concerns, to support a preliminary injunction."

Regarding Ninn's counterclaim, Fairbank said "Defendant does not make an adequate showing to support sanctions. The Court does not find that Plaintiffs or their counsel acted recklessly or in bad faith, and does not find a violation."

Fairbank also noted that the names "Michael Ninn" and "Ninn" are not legally protected.

The ruling was based on filed arguments. Fairbank said that oral argument was not necessary, and vacated a hearing set for March 9.

"The thing speaks for itself, and they denied the other side's claims," Celluloid Addiction President David Sutton told XBIZ. "This allows us to continue to distribute, to shoot, to manufacture — and to use Michael Ninn's name in that process. There are no registered trademarks we have to stay away from using.

"This is an ongoing process and we're going to be in and out of court for some time to come."

Representatives of NinnWorx_SR parent company Spearmint Rhino were not available for comment.