The owners of two coffee shops in upstate New York can continue, for now, operating as “Ex Federal Expresso” in spite of the likelihood that the Federal Express Corp. will succeed with its claims that the defendants diluted its famous trademark, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in Federal Express Corp. v. Federal Expresso Inc., 2d Cir., No. 98-9430, 1/5/00). The court wrote that although it did not necessarily agree with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York’s denial of a preliminary injunction on the dilution claim, it saw no abuse of discretion in the lower court’s ruling.

Federal Express Corp., the company that “invented the overnight shipping business,” sued Federal Expresso Inc., a wholesale distributor of commercial expresso machines, and others, for trademark infringement and dilution. The plaintiff moved for a preliminary injunction, which was denied based on the district court’s finding that Federal Express was not likely to succeed on the merits of either of its claims. Federal Express appealed, and the Second Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Amalya Lyle Kearse, reviewed the district court’s decision.