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CSI Entertainment, Inc. v. Anthem Media Group, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

June 27, 2017

CSI ENTERTAINMENT, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
ANTHEM MEDIA GROUP, INC., AND FIGHT MEDIA, INC., D/B/A THE FIGHT NETWORK, Defendants.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          Ann M. Donnelly United States District Judge.

         The plaintiff, CSI Entertainment, Inc. ("CSI"), brought this action against the defendants, Anthem Media Group, Inc. ("Anthem") and Fight Media Inc. ("FM") (collectively, the "defendants"), alleging that the defendants, in using the mark FIGHT NETWORK, infringed on two of CSI's federally registered service marks: (1) FIGHT SPORTS, and (2) FIGHT SPORTS NETWORK.. On June 16, 2015, CSI moved for an order to show cause for a preliminary injunction to prohibit the defendants from using their mark, FIGHT NETWORK, during the pendency of this litigation. (ECF No. 4.) On November 3, 2015, Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr., held a four-day preliminary injunction hearing, and thereafter issued a Report and Recommendation ("R&R") on December 30, 2016, recommending that the plaintiffs request for a preliminary junction be denied. (ECF No. 75.) The plaintiff filed objections to the R&R on March 10, 2017, and the defendants responded to the plaintiffs objections on April 7, 2017. On June 23, 2017, CSI filed a motion to supplement its objections, to which the defendants responded on June 26, 2017. (ECF No. 86; ECF No. 87.)

         I have reviewed, among other things, the plaintiffs complaint, [1] the plaintiffs brief in support of the order to show cause and the defendants' opposition to that brief, Judge Reyes' R&R, the plaintiffs objections to the R&R, and the defendants' response to the plaintiffs objections. For the reasons described in further detail below, I adopt Judge Reyes' thorough and well-reasoned R&R in its entirety, and dismiss the plaintiffs request for a preliminary injunction with prejudice.

         BACKGROUND

         The facts of this matter are discussed in greater detail in Judge Reyes' R&R. (ECF No. 75.) In summary, the plaintiff, CSI, is a multimedia company that acquires, produces, and distributes fight-related content through various media outlets in the United States and internationally. (ECF No. 75 at 3; ECF No. 80 at 3.) Among other trademarks, CSI has two federally registered marks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") - one for FIGHT SPORTS and the other for FIGHT SPORTS NETWORK - the trademarks at issue in this matter. (ECF No. 75 at 3.) CSI registered FIGHT SPORTS NETWORK with the USPTO on January 10, 2006, and registered FIGHT SPORTS with the USPTO on June 11, 2006. (ECF No. 75 at 3.)

         The defendants are Canadian companies, with principal places of business in Toronto, Canada, and offer a "24/7" fight-related content channel called FIGHT NETWORK.[2] (ECF No. 75 at 3, 4, 6-7.) When CSI became aware that the defendants' predecessor company, Fight Media, was using THE FIGHT NETWORK mark in Canada, it sent a cease and desist letter to the company on March 21, 2007. (ECF No. 75 at 6.) Fight Media responded on April 13, 2007, claiming that the marks were generic and denying infringement, and that unless it heard "to the contrary" from CSI, it would consider the matter "settled to CSI's satisfaction." (ECF No. 75 at 6.) CSI never responded to this letter. (ECF No. 75 at 6.) Anthem later acquired Fight Media in 2011. (ECF No. 75 at 3.)

         Some time later, in June of 2014, CSI learned of the defendants' entry into the U.S. markets when the defendants launched their 24/7 FIGHT NETWORK channel. (ECF No. 75 at 7.) Thereafter, the defendants tried and failed to register its mark, FIGHT NETWORK, with the USPTO; the USPTO rejected the application in part because the defendants' mark was similar to CSI's registered marks. (ECF No. 75 at 7.) CSI commenced this action on June 16, 2015 and requested a preliminary injunction to enjoin the defendants from using the FIGHT NETWORK mark during this litigation. (ECF No. 75 at 7.)

         Judge Reyes held a four-day preliminary injunction hearing beginning on November 3, 2015. (ECF No. 83 at 3.) During the hearing, CSI called six witnesses to testify about the use of CSI's marks, CSI's business model, and CSI's industry reputation. (ECF No. 75 at 2.) The defendants called four witnesses to testify about the generic nature and use of CSI's marks, the defendants' presence in the market, and the defendants' reputation in the industry. (ECF No. 75 at 2.)

         On December 30, 2016 Judge Reyes issued an R&R denying the plaintiffs request for a preliminary injunction. On March 10, 2017, the plaintiff submitted its objections to Judge Reyes' R&R, to which the defendants responded on April 7, 2017. (EFC No. 80; ECF No. 83.) Subsequently, on June 23, 2017, CSI moved this Court to supplement its objections to the R&R, and the defendants responded on June 26, 2017.[3]

         For the reasons set forth below, I adopt Judge Reyes' R&R in its entirety.

         DISCUSSION

         In considering a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, the district court judge "may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b).

         When a magistrate judge makes a recommendation that is dispositive of a party's claim, the district judge must review de novo any part of the magistrate judge's decision to which a party properly objects. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). The court may adopt any sections of the magistrate's report to which a party did not object, as long as the magistrate's decision was not "facially erroneous." Markey v. Lapolla Indus., Inc., No. 12-cv-4622-JS-AKT, 2016 WL 324968, at *3 (E.D.N.Y.Jan. 26, 2016) (citation omitted). Motions for preliminary injunctions are considered dispositive motions. See, e.g., Mitchell v. Century 21 Rustic Realty, 233 F.Supp.2d 418, 430 (E.D.N.Y.), aff'd. 45 F.App'x 59 (2d Cir. 2002).

         If a party does not object to a conclusion in the magistrate judge's report, the argument is waived, and will not be reviewed. See, e.g., Johnson v. Woods, 426 F.App'x 10, 11 (2d Cir. ...


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