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Judge dismisses claims against AASP/NJ in tradeshow lawsuit

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Sept. 21, 2012—U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas recently dismissed several complaints that Rockland Exposition Inc. (REI) filed in a lawsuit against Thomas Greco Publishing, the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ), and the organization’s board members Tom Elder, Thomas Greco and Glenn Villacari.

AASP/NJ said REI filed a lawsuit in 2008 after the association chose not to renew its management contract with REI, and instead move the AASP/NJ NORTHEAST trade show back to New Jersey.

REI’s lawsuit claimed that AASP/NJ and the other cited defendants infringed on its rights of the “NORTHEAST” trademark. In addition, REI’s lawsuit made claims of false and deceptive advertising, trade libel and disparagement, tortious interference with prospective business advantage, and tortious interference with contract.

AASP/NJ said REI was seeking injunctive relief and damages for trademark infringement, dilution and unfair competition under New York law. After four years of litigation, AASP/NJ said Judge Karas dismissed each of REI’s claims with an 87-page opinion.

“We are extremely happy that this is over. It has been a long, painful experience that has taken its toll on many of the dedicated volunteers who serve our association, and we are proud that we took a stand to make sure justice was served,” said Jeff McDowell, president of AASP/NJ. “There are many people to thank, especially board members Brian Vesley and Joe Amato. Brian has spent countless hours of his own time making sure that AASP/NJ’s interests were being looked after from day one. Joe went way beyond the call of duty to make sure we were protected from an insurance standpoint. I don’t know where we’d be without those two individuals. Our association and our industry are indebted to them.”

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