Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Michigan at Bay City.
No. 1:16-cv-11207—Thomas L. Ludington, District Judge.
Argued: October 5, 2017
Decided and Filed: October 23, 2017
Before: SUTTON, DONALD, and THAPAR, Circuit Judges.
BERNICE BOUIE DONALD, Circuit Judge. Plaintiff-Appellant AuSable River Trading
Post, LLC (the “Trading Post”) filed this action against Defendants-Appellees Dovetail
Solutions, Inc. (“Dovetail”) and Tawas Area Chamber of Commerce (the “Chamber”) for a
declaratory judgment as to whether Defendants hold a valid, enforceable trademark for the term
“Perchville,” and for damages under Michigan state law claims. The district court granted
summary judgment in favor of the Defendants, finding that Plaintiff’s trademark challenge is
barred by the doctrine of res judicata and remanding the state court claims. In reaching its
conclusion, the district court determined that Plaintiff was in privity with an hourly employee
who had previously consented to a permanent injunction barring his use of the “Perchville”
mark. Plaintiff challenges the district court’s finding that it is in privity with its employee for
purposes of res judicata. We REVERSE.