Tartell v. South Florida Sinus and Allergy Ctr., No. 14-13178 (11th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
After Dr. Paul B. Tartell and Dr. Lee M. Mandel split their practices, Dr. Mandel registered six domain names with variations of Dr. Tartell’s name. Dr. Tartell then filed a complaint against Dr. Mandel, his incorporated practice, and another corporation owned by Dr. Mandel for cybersquatting, false designation of origin, and unfair competition. The court concluded that the district court clearly erred by ruling that Dr. Tartell's name had acquired secondary meaning in the minds of consumers. Although Dr. Tartell produced some evidence relevant to the Conagra, Inc. v. Singleton factors, he failed to produce any substantial evidence of what his name denotes to the consumer; Dr. Tartell’s evidence about the use of his name in academic settings and evidence about his reputation among other medical professionals are not probative of whether his name had acquired secondary meaning; Dr. Tartell produced no substantial evidence to demonstrate the degree of actual recognition by the public; and Dr. Tartell’s remaining evidence says nothing about the perceptions of consumers. Accordingly, the court reversed and rendered judgment in favor of Dr. Mandel and his corporations.