Posted On: November 25, 2008

Guru Denim Files Trademark and Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Over Sales of Allegedly Counterfeit True Religion® Jeans

Los Angeles, CA – Trademark and copyright attorneys for Guru Denim filed a trademark infringement, copyright infringement, and Lanham Act § 43(a) unfair competition (15 U.S.C. § 1125) complaint at the Federal District Court in Los Angeles to stop sales of allegedly counterfeit knock-offs of its True Religion® brand of jeans. Guru Denim has sought copyright, patent, and trademark protection on its garments and jeans. Guru Denim owns U.S. Patent No. D547530 for the stitch pattern applied to True Religion Brand Jeans pants. Guru Denim owns two U.S. Copyright Registrations for the True Religion Brand Jeans Designs, Copyright Certificate of Registration numbers VA1-192-834 and VA1-301-845.

attorneys-jeans-denim-apparel-copying-trademark-design-copyright-patent-true-religion.jpgGuru Denim owns a USPTO registered trademark in the pocket stitching pattern that appears on True Religion Brand Jeans pants and the overall stitching pattern on the front of True Religion Brand Jeans pants. Guru Denim also has 4 USPTO registered trademarks for “True Religion Brand Jeans” with assorted designs. Finally, Guru Denim has registered its “True Religion” word marks with the USPTO.

Guru Denim’s investigators discovered that numerous defendants were selling allegedly fake and counterfeit True Religion® jeans in their retail stores. The complaint states that the Los Angeles Police Department executed search warrants on some of the defendants’ premises and seized numerous allegedly counterfeit True Religion® apparel. The complaint asserts the following causes of action: (1) Federal trademark infringement under 15 U.S.C. §1114; (2) Federal copyright infringement under 17 U.S.C. §501; (3) False designation of origin under 15 U.S.C. §1125(a); (4) Trademark dilution under 15 U.S.C. §1125(c) and California Business & Professions Code §14330; and (5) Common law copyright infringement under California Civil Code §980. The case is titled Guru Denim, Inc. v. Hercel Zarrabian, et al., CV 08-07395 R (C.D. Cal. 2008).

PRACTICE NOTE: Guru Denim has used different forms of intellectual property to provide the broadest possible scope of protection to its products and business. Patent, trademark and copyright protection can overlap and protect different aspects of the same product and prevent unfair competition and infringing conduct that can affect your business.

The complaint lists the following retail outlets as defendants: LA View, VIP Connection, Stand Out, Plush AKA Club Unisex Clothing, Players 96, Buba Fashion, Diva Fashion, Mufy Fashion, Guvi Outlet, Lizz’s Closet, Styles 4 U, Allure Clothing, King of Music and Fashion, Allure Clothing, and Attitude.

Posted On: November 20, 2008

Los Angeles Nightclub Promoter Filthy McNasty Sues Salon Corona For Trademark Infringement

Los Angeles, CA – Nightclub promoter and performer Filthy McNasty – he legally changed his name – filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Salon Corona, Inc. at the Los Angeles Federal District Court. Since 1980, Plaintiff McNasty has used the marks “FM Station Live” and “FM Station” for offering nightclub, live music and cabaret services. In 1989, the FM Station Live trademark was registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and has withstood a cancellation proceeding at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Click to read TTAB decision.

trademark-club-promoter-fm-station-attorney.jpgThe complaint alleges that Defendant Salon Corona and Shawn Crosby have infringed the FM Station trademark by operating a nightclub and live music venue in North Hollywood, California under an unauthorized “FM Station” live trademark. Plaintiff accuses the Defendants of intentionally infringing on his trademarks. Although not mentioned in the complaint, the TTAB sheds some light on the Defendants’ prior knowledge of the FM Station Live trademark. Plaintiff McNasty was promoting monthly shows at the Defendants’ location under the FM Station mark. The case is titled Filthy McNasty v. Shawn Crosby, et al., CV08-0695 RGK (C.D. Cal. 2008).

Posted On: November 18, 2008

Jewelry Designer Steven Shein Filed a Copyright and Trade Dress Infringement Lawsuit In Los Angeles Federal Court

jewelry-copyright-attorney-trade-dress-steven-shein.jpgLos Angeles, CA – Attorneys for jewelry designer Steven Shein filed a copyright and trade dress infringement lawsuit against Delia’s, Inc. at the Federal District Court in Los Angeles. In 2003, after paying his own way through design school, Steven Shein began designing and selling jewelry. Plaintiff’s jewelry designs have been sold at the Museum of Contemporary Art and through high-end boutiques such as Kitson and Fred Segal. In 2006, Plaintiff authored a jewelry design entitled “The Red Flat Laminate Ice Cream” which was registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

The complaint alleges that “subsequent to Plaintiff’s registration of the Subject Design, Plaintiff’s investigation into the unlawful use of his proprietary designs revealed that Delia’s was purchasing, distributing and selling for profit, jewelry which infringed the Subject Design.” Plaintiff sent a cease and desist letter to the defendant requesting its sales figures of the allegedly infringing jewelry, but the defendant allegedly refused to stop the sales or provide the information. The case is titled Steven Shein v. Delia’s, Inc., CV 08-07291 SJO (C.D. Cal. 2008).

Posted On: November 13, 2008

KP Fashion Sued For Design Patent Infringement In Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA – Patent attorneys for Hanger Corporation filed a patent infringement lawsuit at the Federal District Court in Los Angeles, accusing KP Fashion Company and Universal Display and Design, Inc. of patent infringement. In 2003, the Plaintiff invented a new hanger design for high end clothing. U.S. Design Patent No. D502,008, entitled “Clothes Hanger Body” was duly issued by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on February 22, 2005. The Plaintiff claims that it marks every one of its hangers with its design patent number.

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The complaint alleges that Defendant Universal Display previously requested and was sent a quote for the subject hanger by Plaintiff. In addition, Defendant KP Fashion was provided with a quote by the Plaintiff, which included samples of the product with KP Fashion’s logo emblazoned thereon. Both Defendants, however, indicated to Plaintiff that they were not interested in purchasing the hangers. In August of 2008, Plaintiff saw hangers in Defendant KP Fashion’s retail stores which allegedly were exact copies of Plaintiff’s patented hangers. When an employee was asked regarding the source of the hangers, Defendant Universal’s box containing the hangers was allegedly provided. Needless to say, this lawsuit followed. The case is titled Hanger Corporation v. KP Fashion Company, Inc., CV 08-07342 SVW (C.D. Cal. 2008).

Posted On: November 7, 2008

Betty Boop Merchandise Sales Subject Of Copyright And Trademark Infringement Lawsuit In Los Angeles Federal Court

Los Angeles, CA – Copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit was filed at the Federal District Court in Los Angeles to prevent sales of allegedly unauthorized sales of Betty Boop merchandise by numerous defendants. Plaintiff Fleischer Studios, Inc. is owned by the heirs of Max Fleischer, the creator of famous cartoon characters – including the well-known fictional Betty Boop character. Plaintiff Hearst Holdings, Inc., through its King Features Syndicate Division, produces and distributes cartoon features and characters in the merchandising business. In 1986, Fleischer entered into an agreement with King Features granting it the exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute and/or license the Betty Boop character in the United States and throughout the world.

copyright-lawyer-trademark-cartoon-betty-boop.jpgBetty Boop first appeared in a “talkartoon” in 1930 titled “Dizzy Dishes” – she is very spry for being almost 80 years old – when the character was known as Betty. A year later, she became known as Betty Boop in the talkartoon titled “Minding the Baby,” which drawings of the character and cartoons – including several others – are all subjects of several U.S. Copyright Registrations. In addition, the character and name are subject to trademark protection and the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has granted four federal trademark registrations for the Betty Boop word mark on a wide array of merchandise.

Plaintiffs allege that the numerous named defendants – that do not appear to be related in any way – have been selling and distributing merchandise bearing unauthorized depictions of the Betty Boop character and name. The complaint alleges that the infringement is “carried out with Defendants’ full knowledge that such elements are protected by copyright. In doing the acts complained of herein, the Defendants have willfully and intentionally infringed Plaintiffs’ copyrights” and trademark rights. The case is titled Hearst Holdings, Inc. v. Roger Lalwani, et al., CV08-06932 FMC (C.D. Cal. 2008).

Posted On: November 4, 2008

Patent Invalidity, Non-Infringement, And Unenforceability Declaratory Relief Complaint Filed In Los Angeles By Maxon Against Braun

Los Angeles, CA – Patent attorneys for Maxon Lift Corp. (“Maxon”) filed a declaratory judgment lawsuit, at the Federal District Court in Los Angeles, against The Braun Corporation and its U.S. Patent No. 7,422,408. Braun is the assignee of the inventions covered by the ‘408 patent, entitled “Lighted Vehicle Access System and Method,” which issued on September 9, 2008. The patent generally relates to vehicle access lifts, such as for wheelchair access to buses and vans.

patent-attorney-patent-declaratory-relief-maxon.jpgThe complaint alleges that shortly after the patent issued, counsel for Braun contacted counsel for Maxon and offered a non-exclusive license to practice the invention covered by the ‘408 patent because Maxon’s wheelchair lifts were believed to infringe thereon. Thereafter, Maxon allegedly received a draft non-exclusive license agreement from counsel for Braun. Because of Braun’s previous patent infringement lawsuit against Maxon, it believes that a justiciable controversy exists, thereby establishing jurisdiction for the declaratory relief action. The case is titled Maxon Industries, Inc. v. The Braun Corporation, CV 08-06730 PA (C.D. Cal. 2008).