Fake LinkedIn Profile May Cause Trademark Infringement – Avepoint v. Axceler

19 11 2013

Avepoint, Inc. v. Power Tools, Inc. d/b/a Axceler, 7:13CV00035 (W.D. Va. Nov. 7, 2013)

Avepoint and Axceler are competitors providing “infrastructure management and governance software platforms for Microsoft Sharepoint products and technologies.” Avepoint alleged that Axceler denigrated Avepoint online. Specifically, Axceler allegedly created the impression that Avepoint was a Chinese company rather than an American company and that customers were generally dissatisfied and moving from Avepoint to Axceler.

Interestingly, Avepoint alleged that Axceler created a fake LinkedIn account for Jim Chung, a fictitious China-based representative for Avepoint and this furthered the impression that Avepoint was a China-based company. One of Axceler’s sales executives, Michael Burns, was allegedly involved in the deception. Avepoint alleged that he created the LinkedIn profile, publicized it, and even tweeted at the fictitious Avepoint software engineer:


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