Fyre TV Loses Appeal for Injunction Against Amazon

Fyre TV Loses Appeal for Injunction Against Amazon
Rhett Pardon

MIAMI — A federal appeals court last week denied an attempt made by the parent company of adult video-streaming system Fyre TV for an injunction against Amazon.com for calling its own streaming system Fire TV.

On Friday, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court's ruling that Wreal LLC, operator of Fyre TV, was tardy in filing its motion for a preliminary injunction against the online retailing giant.

Wreal registered the marks “FyreTV” and “FyreTV.com” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2008, and has used those marks streaming adult content since 2007.

In 2014, Amazon launched its set-top box for mainstream fare, dubbed the “Amazon Fire TV,” despite that it was aware that Wreal had registered a FyreTV mark prior to its launch.

Two weeks after the launch, Wreal filed a “reverse-confusion” trademark suit against Amazon, seeking treble damages and injunctive relief. Wreal also sought relief under Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and Florida common law.

But “despite the alacrity with which Wreal filed its complaint, for months, Wreal conducted no discovery and made just routine, case-management filings in the district court,” the 11th Circuit said.

“Then, on Sept. 22, 2014 — over five months after filing its complaint — Wreal moved for a preliminary injunction.”

The appeals court said that the five-month period was way too long and denied Wreal’s request, characterizing Wreal’s pursual of a motion for preliminary injunction as one “with the urgency of someone out on a meandering evening stroll rather than someone in a race against time.”

“Both in the district court and on appeal, Wreal has failed to offer any explanation for its five-month delay,” the 11th Circuit decided. “Nor can we discern from the record any justification for the delay that would suggest that the district court made an error in judgment by pointing to the delay to find a lack of imminent irreparable harm.”

“In fact, as the district court observed, the preliminary-injunction motion relied exclusively on evidence that was available to Wreal at the time it filed its complaint in April 2014,” the court said.

“Simply put, the district court did not abuse its discretion when it concluded that Wreal failed to demonstrate an imminent injury that would warrant the ‘extraordinary and drastic remedy’ of a preliminary injunction.”

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