In an Order Friday in a case in which an Italian fashion company accuses Ivanka Trump’s fashion label of creating copycat shoes (see our coverage of the complaint here), Judge Forrest ordered Ms. Trump to appear for a two-hour deposition, notwithstanding her claims to have had no personal involvement in the underlying issues:
Continue Reading Judge Forrest: Ivanka Trump Must Sit for Deposition in Suit Over Copycat Shoes

Last week, iconic Brooklyn steakhouse Peter Luger filed an action against a similarly-named rival.  The defendant, Carl von Luger, operates a steakhouse in Scranton, Pennsylvania, with plans to expand to Florida.  Peter Luger, in business since 1887, claims that the defendant attempted to create a false association between the steakhouse brands.  The complaint includes claims

In an opinion today, Judge Oetken clarified a preliminary injunction granted to the maker of a product called “My Cinema Lightbox,” a backlit sign similar to old-fashioned movie theater displays (see image below), against a similar product called “My Marquee Lightbox.”   After winning its motion for a preliminary injunction, the plaintiff  began instructing retailers that they could no longer sell “My Marquee Lightbox.”  Judge Oetken clarified that the Order did not permit the plaintiff to do so:
Continue Reading Judge Oetken: Preliminary Injunction Winner in Trademark Case Cannot Direct Third Party Retailers to Stop Selling the Accused Product

This week, the Second Circuit affirmed Judge Crotty’s grant of summary judgment dismissing trademark claims against Oprah Winfrey over use of the phrase “Own Your Power” (see our previous coverage here).  The Second Circuit agreed with Judge Crotty that use of the phrase “Own Your Power” was fair use and did not infringe on the name of the plaintiff’s motivational speaking business, Own Your Power Communications, Inc.  This decision was based on the panel’s finding that the plaintiff’s “mark” was merely a descriptive phrase:
Continue Reading Second Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment in Trademark Case Against Oprah

Today, Judge Castel dismissed RICO claims brought against Alibaba Group Holding by a group of luxury goods makers including Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent.  The complaint accused Alibaba of providing services and a market platform to merchants that Alibaba should have known were selling counterfeit goods.

Judge Castel specifically considered the plaintiffs’ claims that Alibaba’s online marketplace and the merchants that used it constituted a criminal enterprise under RICO.  Judge Castel rejected this argument, holding that lack the coordination necessary to create a RICO enterprise:
Continue Reading Judge Castel Dismisses RICO Claims in Case Over Alibaba Selling Counterfeit Goods

Yesterday, Italian fashion company Aquazurra filed a complaint against Ivanka Trump and her partner Marc Fisher over shoes that allegedly infringe on Aquazurra’s designs.  Trump’s company markets a red “Hettie” shoe that Aquazurra claims infringes on its famous “Wild Thing” shoe (pictured here):

Shoes with Caption

Aquazurra alleges that at least two other Trump shoes infringe on Aquazurra’s

In a trademark opinion yesterday, Judge Koeltl granted judgment following a bench trial in favor of a Dutch company, Schutte, that makes “bag closures”  — the “small plastic closures that are used to close bags of pastries, bread, and fruit.”  Schutte sought to cancel the trademark protection of the dominant U.S. maker of bag closures, Kwik Lok.  Here are the two products side by side (Schutte on the left, Kwik Lok on the right):

12 Civ. 05541 - Bag Closure Image

Continue Reading Judge Koeltl Rejects Trademark Protection for Small Plastic Squares that Close Bread Bags

Today, Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A. filed a complaint against former NFL quarterback Vincent Ferragamo (who led the LA Rams to Super Bowl XIV as a rookie in 1980) and his Ferragamo Winery near Los Angeles.  While Salvatore Ferragamo does not currently license its name for wines, it had previously done so in the U.S. in the 1980s.  Ferragamo (the Italian fashion brand) claims that Ferragamo (the winery) creates consumer confusion and violates Salvatore Ferragamo’s U.S. trademarks:

Continue Reading Salvatore Ferragamo Brings Trademark Claims Against Former NFL Quarterback’s Ferragamo Winery