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Legal Briefs

According to a Dec. 22 statement by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan, Michael Bodner was arrested and charged with stealing more than $4 million from his former employer.

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According to a Dec. 22 statement by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan, Michael Bodner was arrested and charged with stealing more than $4 million from his former employer. Neither legal sources nor the U.S. Attorney's Office could confirm details concerning Bodner's former employer, but media reports said he was the former chief financial officer for Tommy Hilfiger Handbags. Tommy Hilfiger Handbags is not involved in the legal matter. Bodner, 59, was charged with wire fraud related to his alleged activities. According to the complaint filed by the federal prosecutor's office, he is charged with writing checks to himself and two credit card companies and transferring money to himself over a period of about three years. Bodner, who could be sentenced for up to 20 years in prison and charged a maximum fine of $250,000 if convicted, was not available for comment.

Chanel Inc. filed a trademark counterfeiting and infringement lawsuit against Janet Stevens and Tara Stevens for allegedly selling counterfeit handbags through more than a dozen Web sites and online aliases. The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Southern Florida on Dec. 20. Chanel asked the court for a preliminary and permanent injunction, damages and trial costs. The defendants could not be reached for comment.

Separately, Chanel also filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Teng Da Trading Inc. and Xiang Yuan Fan, also known as Shawn Fan, in a Manhattan federal court. According to legal documents filed on Dec. 7, Chanel alleged Fan sold handbags and wallets that infringed on its interlocking CC monogram trademark. Chanel asked the court for a permanent injunction, damages and trial costs. Fan could not be reached for comment.

True Religion Apparel Inc. and Guru Denim filed a lawsuit against True Apparel Co. for allegedly infringing on its trademarks and trade names. The lawsuit was filed in a Massachusetts federal court on Dec. 18. True Religion and Guru asked the court for preliminary and permanent injunctions, damages and trial costs. According to the complaint, True Apparel sold custom jeans through a Web site under brand names that infringed on its "True Religion" and "True Religion Brand" trademarks. True Apparel sells jeans and apparel under the "True Apparel" and "True Jeans" trademarks.
Oakley Inc. filed a patent infringement lawsuit against 5.11 Inc. in a federal court in San Diego. According to legal documents, Oakley alleged that 5.11 sold eyewear that infringes on a patent it holds for "concavely indented lenses for eyewear." Oakley asked the court for a preliminary and permanent injunction and damages. The company 5.11 could not immediately be reached for comment.

Van Cleef & Arpels Logistics, Van Cleef & Arpels Inc. and Van Cleef & Arpels Distribution Inc. filed a lawsuit against Festival Marketplace, which is operated by Chester Brothers. The lawsuit was also filed against several other defendants: Christina's Creations, Christina Dilascio, Carmine Dilascio, Golden Images Jewelers Inc., Jay Trietman, Is It Real Sample Inc., Jerry Goldman, Jewelry Collection, Lola's Fine Jewelry Inc., Silver Wave and Taste of Beauty. According to the court documents filed in Miami on Dec. 18, all the defendants are either suppliers or jewelers that Van Cleef alleged sold copies of its Alhambra jewelry copyrights and trade dress. Van Cleef asked for an injunction, damages and trial costs. The defendants could not be reached for comment.

Louis Vuitton Malletier filed a lawsuit against Melissa E. Pierce, who is also known as Melissa McDonald and who does business as Cozy Critter, and Netfirms Inc. for vicarious trademark infringement. According to legal documents filed in a federal court on Dec. 14 in the Eastern District of California, Louis Vuitton alleged McDonald and Cozy Critter operate a Web site that sold handbags and accessories that infringe on its trademarks. Netfirms operates the servers that host the Web site, according to the court documents. Louis Vuitton asked the court for an injunction, damages and trial costs. The defendants could not be reached for comment.

Separately, also on Dec. 14, Louis Vuitton Malletier filed a lawsuit against Doktor Gurson, who does business as InexpensiveDomains and InexpensiveDomains.com LLC, and Tracy Jackson, who operates TopOfTheLineFashions. The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in San Francisco for alleged trademark infringement, copyright infringement, contributory and vicarious trademark infringement and contributory and vicarious copyright infringement. According to legal documents the defendants sold handbags and accessories that infringed on Louis Vuitton's registered intellectual property. The luxury goods manufacturer asked the court for an injunction, damages and trial costs. The defendants could not be reached for comment.