TLOC Senior Living, LLC v. BinghamAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff TLOC Senior Living, LLC, owned and operated a senior living community in Middlebury, Vermont, doing business as “The Lodge at Otter Creek.” In July 2013, defendant Albert Bingham registered the name “The Lodge at Otter Creek” under his own name with the Vermont Secretary of State’s Office after plaintiff lapsed in its re-registration of the name. In December 2013, plaintiff filed a complaint alleging slander of title, trade infringement, unfair competition, and tortious interference with contract. Plaintiff claimed that despite Bingham’s actions, his registration of the name did not bestow him with any rights to actually use it as a trade name. Rather, plaintiff contended that it retained the exclusive common law rights to the continued use of “The Lodge at Otter Creek” as its trade name. Bingham filed several counterclaims. He argued in relevant part that by registering the name “The Lodge at Otter Creek” as his business name, he effectively foreclosed any right that plaintiff had to the name. The court concluded that although Bingham had been able to register “The Lodge at Otter Creek,” plaintiff’s failure to re-register the name did not allow Bingham to use it. Defendant appealed, and finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed.