Lurline Bay LLC v. Harbor Classic LLC, Case No. 23-cv-05652 (C.D. California, July 13, 2023)

Recently, we wrote about a Chicago-area furniture retailer Darvin Furniture & Mattress suing e-commerce company Wayfair for using the “Darvin” trademark on Wayfair’s websites and social media accounts. Another trademark dispute involving Google searches for the asserted trademarks is taking place in the Central District of California, where California furniture manufacturer Lurline Bay has accused Harbor Classic LLC of infringing on Lurline Bay’s trademarks by employing a similar name in the marketplace including keyword searches.

The alleged confusion stems from the fact that Lurline Bay does business as “Harbour” and has registered trademarks for both “Harbour” and “Harbour Outdoor”. The company sells a wide range of indoor and outdoor furniture, including dining room, living room and pool/patio collections.

Starting in 2022, Harbor Classic also began marketing its own furniture lines. The plaintiffs allege that in addition to using a very similar name, Harbor Classic is paying to sponsor keyword search results on Google, adding to the customer confusion. As a result, Lurline Bay says the company has had to increase its marketing budget to address what it calls “apparent bidding on Google AdWords using ‘harbor.’” The complaint gives examples of long-time Lurline Bay/Harbour customers being confused about the two competitors’ products.

Lurline Bay is seeking both injunctive relief and damages on claims of trademark infringement, false advertising, and false designation of origin. The company also is suing on state and federal unfair competition claims.