The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court on June 11, also alleges unfair competition, false advertising and dilution. Other named defendants include Preferred's owner, Izriel Polatsek, also known as Ezriel Polatsek; CVS Inc.; CVS Pharmacy Inc. and CVS Caremark Corp.; Family Dollar Stores Inc., and John Does 1-10.
The lawsuit said that Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Preferred is a "known infringer that previously has copied — and previously has been sued for its copying of — famous perfume brands." It said the Brooklyn firm appropriated Lauder's marks for its own use for its line of knockoff products that it has begun selling or soon will sell for the holiday 2008 season in stores such as CVS and Family Dollar. The lawsuit charged that Preferred trades on the "investment" of others as it copies the scents of famous designer fragrances. An example is Obsession, which Preferred allegedly called Fascination in its knockoff scent. Another is White Diamonds, which was called Round Diamonds, the lawsuit charged.
Impression of Beautiful by Estée Lauder, Impression of Pleasures by Estée Lauder, Impression of Happy by Clinique and Impression of Cashmere Mist by Donna Karan are among the Lauder products that allegedly were knocked off by Preferred, the lawsuit said.
Lauder said it was concerned consumers are likely to believe that, due to the defendants' conduct, the knocked-off products are associated with it instead of Preferred.
Lauder also said sales of its Beautiful line are in excess of $400 million in the U.S., while those of its Pleasures line are over $300 million at retail in the U.S., with Beautiful the number-one selling prestige fragrance in America and Pleasures ranking number two. In addition, the company said it has spent tens of millions of dollars to advertise and promote its brands. It is also is the exclusive licensee of the Donna Karan and Donna Karan Cashmere Mist fragrance line and is the owner of the Clinique and Clinique Happy marks, the lawsuit said.
Lauder is seeking injunctive relief, an accounting of sales and profits, damages and attorneys' fees.