For the foregoing reasons, we hold that the likelihood of success on the merits is slim in this case. We now turn to the next prong of the preliminary injunction analysis.
B. Threat of Irreparable Harm
The threat of irreparable harm to the plaintiff if the preliminary injunction is not granted would be minimal in this case.
Duraco argues that it would be irreparably harmed due to its inability to control the quality of defendants' product, the loss of profits due to lowering price levels, and the likelihood of confusion between Duraco's and the defendants' trade dress, all of which would harm Duraco's reputation. Duraco's sales have been at healthy levels, even since the time that defendants' product entered the market. We find this conclusion to be without merit.
C. Balance of Harms
The likelihood of harm to the plaintiff if a preliminary injunction is not issued is rather small. Thus, the balance of plaintiff's harms vis. the defendants' harms is small. Defendants, whose companies heavily rely on the production of the urns for their survival, stand to lose their entire business if they are enjoined from further manufacture and sales of their Ultimate Urn. Plaintiff, on the other hand, carries many other product lines, has increased its sales, has not shown any direct evidence of loss of customer goodwill or reputation, and has not shown a likelihood of confusion among consumers.
D. Public Interest
We agree that there is a general public interest in open competition, and in the Lanham Act's goal of federal protection of trade dress. SK&F, Co. v. Premo Pharmaceutical Labs., Inc., 625 F.2d 1055, 1067 (3d Cir. 1980). But in this case, there has not been shown any confusion on the part of consumers at all. Rather, the public has an interest in a healthy, competitive market which results in lower prices for popular goods.
We find the assertion of a right to a preliminary injunction by the plaintiff to be without merit. We do not believe that additional evidence from the plaintiff will change this opinion. Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(a)(2), the evidence which we have already received and considered would not have to be repeated at a trial on the merits.
If plaintiff wishes to introduce additional evidence at a hearing on the merits for a final injunction, it should notify the court within thirty days from the date of this order, otherwise a final judgment will be entered in favor of the defendants.
For all of the foregoing reasons, we do not believe that the granting of a preliminary injunction is warranted in this case.
It is so ordered.
Maurice B. Cohill, Jr., Judge
AND NOW, to-wit, this 25th day of May, 1993, upon careful consideration of the testimony and evidence presented at the preliminary injunction hearing, and based upon the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law filed herein, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction be and hereby is DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff notify the court within thirty days from the date of this order if it wishes to introduce additional evidence at a hearing on the merits for a final injunction. Absent this notification, we will enter a final judgment in favor of the defendants at that time.
Maurice B. Cohill, Jr., Judge