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Nissan sues former New Mexico dealership

Nissan sues former New Mexico dealership

Nissan North America is suing a terminated Gallup, N.M., dealership for its continued unauthorized use of the manufacturer’s trademarks, service marks and signage.

The trademark infringement, breach of contract and unfair trade practices suit alleges Ed Corley Nissan refused to provide access to the premises to remove signs, and the ex-dealership “purchased used Nissan vehicles and advertised them for sale” at the same location.

The franchise termination took effect in May 2022. However, a Google search showed that Ed Corley Nissan still has LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook pages. In addition, Corley Nissan LLC is still listed as an active corporation on the New Mexico Department of State website.

The suit seeks an injunction and damages, as well as $763,375 Nissan said the store owes for 25 vehicles it bought in 2021 and another $152,994 it said the ex-dealership owes for parts, tools and services.

According to the complaint, Ed Corley Nissan also has failed to pay the 1 percent monthly delinquency charge under its sales and service agreement.

The suit, filed Aug. 10 in federal court, alleges Ed Corley Nissan illegally used Nissan’s trade and service marks at the site of its former store and in its email address, advertising and website address.

“In doing so, it improperly conveyed to consumers that it remained an authorized Nissan dealer” and “intentionally created and is likely to continue to create confusion and mistake among the public, customers, prospective customers, creditors, suppliers and/or others to deceive them,” the suit said.

In a statement, a Nissan spokesman said the company “has made considerable investments in our brand. We always want to ensure that when customers see the Nissan name, they will have a positive sales and service experience. As such, we limit the use of our trademarks only to active Nissan dealerships or other authorized users, and, when necessary, we will take action to protect the Nissan brand.”

Neither a lawyer nor a representative for the former dealership could be reached for comment.

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