Milacron Sees Red Over Pink MWF

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Milacron and subsidiary Cimcool have sued Stough Tool Sales for marketing pink industrial fluids, alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition. Stough filed a counterclaim Monday seeking cancellation of two trademarks for the color pink in such fluids.

Filed Feb. 9 in the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, the initial Milacron lawsuit seeks a jury trial and recovery of damages and/or Stoughs profits received as a result of using pink dye in its products. It also seeks to prohibit Stough and others from manufacture, dealing in, marketing, sale, advertising or distribution in the United States of industrial fluids in the color pink, including, but not limited to metalworking and tooling fluids, anti-corrosion compositions and sprays, industrial cleaners and lubricants.

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Stough filed a counterclaim on March 5, asking the court to cancel two of Milacrons U.S. trademarks that pertain to the use of pink in industrial fluids. The color pink when used in connection with chemicals used in industry for use in metalworking fluids is incapable of functioning as a trademark, Stough said in its counterclaim.

A Milacron spokesperson declined to comment on the lawsuit while it is pending. Stough did not reply to Lube Reports requests for comment by press time.

Cincinnati-based Milacron owns several federal trademark registrations issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office for the color pink in connection with its pink products, and licenses use of the color marks to its Cimcool subsidiary. The companies and their predecessors had sold pink industrial fluids and packaged the products in containers that were also pink, dating back to the 1940s.

According to the lawsuit, Stough of Broken Arrow, Okla., recently began selling pink color industrial fluids, including machining fluids, oils, lubricants and cleaners the U.S., under the brand StoughCool.

From at least 2003 through 2005, Stough was an authorized distributor in the U.S. for Milacron and Cimcool and their predecessors, including the pink color products.

In its counterclaim, Stough claimed that Milacron and Cimcool have abandoned trademark use of the color pink by allowing numerous other competitors to use the color pink in selling industrial products.