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Auto Driveaway secures two-year preliminary injunction against franchisee

October 31, 2018

A federal court entered a preliminary injunction for two years against a former franchisee to enforce the non-competition provisions of its franchise agreement, protecting franchisor Auto Driveaway’s trademarks and services from unauthorized use.

Auto Driveaway Franchise System, LLC, the largest vehicle transport company in North America providing vehicle relocation and storage services across the United States, is represented by Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.  Auto Driveaway filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against franchisee Jeffrey Corbett and his two business entities, claiming that they had engaged in trademark infringement, false and deceptive advertising, and alleging numerous violations of the franchise agreements. Auto Driveaway alleged that Corbett had engaged the franchisor’s software developer to create an unauthorized version of its proprietary software and then created a new company to unfairly compete against Auto Driveaway.

Auto Driveaway learned about Corbett’s actions in July 2018, according to its complaint.  The court first issued a temporary restraining order against Corbett ordering him not to use Auto Driveaway’s trademarks with any other marks. On Oct. 26, 2018, the court issued a preliminary injunction order that prohibits Corbett for an approximate two-year period from, among other things, engaging in any business that provides similar services or products as those offered by Auto Driveaway including any “for-hire” motor carrier business either as a common carrier or contract carrier at or within 50 miles of his former locations in Virginia, Ohio and Tennessee or any Auto Driveaway territory.

“Auto Driveaway is committed to protecting our customers and franchisees, as well as the integrity of our products and services,” said Rodney Ruth, President and CEO of AutoDriveaway. “We will take the appropriate actions necessary to continue to provide excellent service and protect our client relationships.”

Attorneys Susan Meyer, Ricardo Meza, Kara Cenar, and Thad Felton of Greensfelder’s Chicago office represented Auto Driveaway in the case. Greensfelder has a nationally recognized franchise practice, and franchise attorneys Dawn Johnson and David Simmons in the firm’s St. Louis office also were part of the team representing Auto Driveaway.

Auto Driveaway’s complaint can be read here, and the Oct. 26 preliminary injunction order is here.

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