Cat Got Your Tongue? Plaintiffs Alter Email to Better Their Case and Avoid Dismissal

In one of the first cases of 2016 to be decided under the new Rule 37(e)’s harsher sanctions standard, Magistrate Judge James Francis allowed plaintiff’s claims to go forward even after finding that plaintiffs intentionally altered the email addresses on specific emails and produced the altered versions.

The underlying dispute in Cat3, LLC v. Blank Lineage, Inc., 2016 WL 154116 (S.D.N.Y. 2016)  involved alleged trademark infringement under the Lanham Act. Plaintiffs owned the domain name SLAMXHYPE, a domain that they used in connection with the sale of clothing and the operation of a website and online magazine. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants, after finding out about their plans to rebrand their business as SLAMXHYPE, interfered with plaintiffs’ trademark rights by use of the trademark FLASHXHYPE and the domain name www.FLASHXHYPE.com.