Knoll, successor in interest to Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona collection, sues Mod Decor on ‘look-a-like’ furntiure.
Mod Decor’s ‘modern seating’ page here.
Prior post on protection of Barcelona chair here.
Drawing from Knoll’s registration in the Barcelona couch above.
Knoll filed a similar lawsuit against Sexyfurnishings today as well.
Complaint Barcelona Chair
Plaintiff is the authorized distributor of the BELLINI CHAIR. A registration for the shape of the chair looks like this:
Design Within Reach had been an authorized retailer of the BELLINI chair:
Then DNR came out with a chair that looked like this:
Plaintiff sued on trade dress infringement and dilution (Bellini complaint previously reported here).
DNR moves to dismiss the complaint.
Held as to dilution: Dismissed. Plaintiff had pled that the Bellini chair was well known to the “relevant public interested in contemporary furniture.” That is niche fame, not fame among the ‘general consuming public.’ Revenues of $1 million is nowhere near the levels where plaintiff could plausibly prove fame, as that term is used by the dilution statute.
Held as to trade dress: Dismissed without prejudice for failure to articulate a precise expression of the character and scope of the claimed trade dress. A copy of the drawing from the trademark registration and a photo of the product was INSUFFICIENT in articulating the distinctive features of the trade dress. Plaintiff had to identify the elements of the trade dress that were distintive.
Decision Bellini Trade Dress
, then came out with a chair that plaintiff alleged infringed the Bellini
Nike owns a registration in the design of the AIR FORCE 1 sneaker (middle picture) consisting of “the design of the stitching on the exterior of the shoe, the design of the material panels that form the exterior body of the shoe, the design of the wavy panel on the top of the shoe that encompasses the eyelets for the shoe laces, the design of the vertical ridge pattern on the sides of the sole of the shoe, and the relative position of these elements to each other” (drawing shown on top).
It has now sued Yum, alleging infringement of that design by Yum’s Sugar shoes (bottom photo)
Complaint Nike Air
Via Loeb and Loeb: Do Denim v Fried Denim:
Although Plaintiff’s opposition papers contain various generalized assertions about the nature of the jeans industry and the extent to which jeans designers rely on back-pocket-embroidered designs that may or may not be similar ot the Dragon Design, the Amended Compaint itself contains no factual allegation as to whether protecting the Dragon Design in the manner contemplated by the Plaintiff would put competitors at a significant non-reputation-related disadvantage.
Any suggestions as to how you would plead that back pocket embroidery is non-functional in a specific non-conclusory manner? “The stuff stays in the pocket regardless”?
From the complaint: Each of plaintiff’s CLEAN products and marketing materials bear inherently distinctive designs and/or such design have acquired distinctivenss wherein the word “CLEAN” appears large and starkly on the labeling with larger than appropriate spacing between each letter of CLEAN. (para. 11). Defendants are selling a line of fragrance and skin care products bearing the name KLEAN that also seems to copy the trade dress. Para 14.
Complaint Clean Klean
Note the discussion of the strength of the MUSCLE element, for a suppement sold to bodybuidlers, as well as defendant’s ‘options’ with regard to the choice of the octagonal packaging from a third-party vendor, Tetra Pak.
Decision Vital Pharm
The advance service didn’t print the exhibits and the complaint isn’t on Pacer. The complaint refers to Gucci’s red green stripe and a pattern of interlocking G’s (I pulled the picture above randomly – it’s not from the complaint). If you know what the Guess product looks like, give a holler.
Complaint Gucci v Guess
Chock Full Of Nuts is the heavenly coffee, better coffee a millionaire’s money can’t buy. Nite Owl is a character from the WATCHMEN movie. Defendant came out with Nite Owl Coffee, apparently as merchandising related to the movie.
First aside: I speculate that the (registered) checkerboard design on the CFON label alludes to the ‘checker cabs‘ that were popular in New York in days gone by.
Second aside: Read paragraph 32 of the complaint and ask yourself if you would have put that allegation quite that way.
Third aside: Nite Owl coffee doesn’t seem to be on defendant’s website.
Complaint Nite Owl Coffee