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Legal Briefs

Andin International Inc. filed court documents seeking a declaratory judgment of noncopyright infringement against Yurman Studios Inc. in Manhattan federal court

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Andin International Inc. filed court documents seeking a declaratory judgment of noncopyright infringement against Yurman Studios Inc. in Manhattan federal court. Andin International asked the court in documents filed on Feb. 5 to find that it's jewelry designs do not infringe on Yurman's Pave Enhancer collection. The case refers specifically to a ring, pendant and earring that Andin said it designed in house in 2006. Yurman sent a cease and desist letter to Sam's Club and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., an Andin customer, which led the company to stop selling the jewelry referenced in the judgment request, according to legal documents. Andin alleged that it did not infringe on Yurman's copyright and asked the court to affirm that and for damages associated with the effect of the cease and desist letter on its relationship with Sam's Club and Wal-Mart.

Chanel Inc. filed a lawsuit against Dan Soro, who does business as Italian Ice, for allegedly selling counterfeit costume jewelry that infringes on its trademarks. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida on Feb. 6. Chanel asked the court for a preliminary and permanent injunction against Soro, as well as damages of $1 million for each counterfeited trademark. Soro could not be reached for comment. Separately, Chanel filed another trademark infringement lawsuit in federal court in South Carolina against Renee L. Powell, who does business as Wonderfaux Handbags, wonderfauxhandbags.com, Celebrity Specs and celebrityspecs.com. According to the complaint filed on Feb. 5, Powell allegedly sold fake costume jewelry and accessories that infringed on Chanel's registered intellectual property. Chanel asked the court for an injunction, damages and trial costs. Powell could not immediately be reached for comment.

Diplomatic Man Inc., a record label founded by rapper Cam'ron and business associates, filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Nike Inc. in Manhattan federal court on Jan. 8. According to legal documents, Diplomatic Man alleged that Nike used a song titled "The Second Coming" in national commercials for its Air Force 25 line without the proper permissions. According to Diplomatic Man, LaRon James, who is known professionally as Juelz Santana, performed the song in question. The ads featured the National Basketball Association All-Stars. Diplomatic Man asked for preliminary and permanent injunctions, damages and trial costs. A spokesman for Nike said, "Nike values its relationships with the various artists and athletes that represent our brand. We have a signed agreement with Juelz Santana that includes a warranty that all necessary releases were obtained. Therefore, we will examine the complaint and prepare to vigorously defend ourselves."
Christian Louboutin succeeded in registering a trademark for the signature red sole of its shoes. According to documents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the trademark was registered on Jan. 1, 2008, almost six months after the action was initiated. Trademark applications have to undergo a period where other parties can file an opposition. The registration states that "the mark consists of a lacquered red sole on footwear." The registration is for women's high-fashion footwear only. Louboutin has made prior unsuccessful efforts to protect his signature red soles from other companies that have used a similar color.

Aveda filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against TBC Enterprises Inc. and Mike Rockafellow for allegedly manufacturing and selling beauty products and other articles bearing counterfeit Aveda trademarks. The case was filed in federal court in Lubbock, Tex., on Jan. 25. The complaint included charges of trademark counterfeiting and infringement, false designation or origin, false advertising and trademark dilution. Aveda asked the court for damages of $1 million for each type of good bearing an Aveda trademark. The company also asked for preliminary and permanent injunctions and trial costs. Defendants could not be reached for comment by press time.

The North Face, PRL USA Holdings Inc. and Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. reached a settlement agreement on a consent judgment and permanent injunction in trademark litigation against TC Fashions Inc., Great Value Inc., EB Garments Inc., Emmy Fashions Inc., Christine Yuen, Yvonne Chan, Robert Holt and Todd Turner. According to legal documents filed in Manhattan federal court, the defendants agreed to an undisclosed financial settlement and to cease producing goods that infringe on The North Face and PRL trademarks. The judgment was filed on Jan. 16 to judge Richard Berman.

Richemont; Richemont International NV, IWC, Vacheron Constantin and Richemont International SA — all divisions of Richemont North America Inc. — reached a final judgment on consent in a trademark and copyright infringement lawsuit against Finetime Inc., Jeffrey Ho and Sophistic Inc. The agreement was filed in Manhattan federal court on Jan. 17. According to court documents, the defendants were accused of infringing on a number of watch styles. No damages were awarded and the parties involved were told to pay their own trial costs.