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Legal Briefs

<b>Icon Brands Group Inc.</b> filed a lawsuit against <b>Iconix Brand Group Inc.</b> in Los Angeles federal court on Aug. 2 over trademarks. Icon Brands Group’s lawsuit includes allegations of false designation of origin, trademark infringement,...

Icon Brands Group Inc. filed a lawsuit against Iconix Brand Group Inc. in Los Angeles federal court on Aug. 2 over trademarks. Icon Brands Group’s lawsuit includes allegations of false designation of origin, trademark infringement, unfair competition and misappropriation against Iconix. In court documents Icon Brands said it used the IIKONN (pronounced “icon”) Brands Group trademark since July 2004. In 2006 the company changed its name to Icon Brands Group. Iconix sent the company a letter in April of this year asserting that it had held a trademark for “Iconix Brand Group” since July 2005 and that the Icon Brands Group name was too similar, according to the complaint. In its letter Iconix asked Icon Brands Group to stop using its name and find an alternative trademark and name. Icon Brands Group asked the court for an injunction and damages. Icon did not return calls for comment. “As far as we are concerned, Icon’s claims have absolutely no merit. Icon changed its name from IIKONN to ICON more than a year after our company adopted the Iconix name and ICON ticker symbol,” stated an Iconix spokesperson.

Nine West Development Corp. and Nine West Footwear Corp. filed a lawsuit against unnamed defendants for allegedly creating Facebook.com profiles that use the Nine West brand name without authorization. According to documents filed in Manhattan federal court on Aug. 24, the John Doe defendants created a profile on Facebook for Nine West shoes without permission. The owners of the profile then created a group named “Nine West-Model Auditions” which solicited pictures of applicants’ faces, bodies and barefoot toes. The group page said winners would receive an all-expenses paid trip to New York. Approximately 400 Facebook members joined the group as of July. Following a request by Nine West, Facebook removed the group. Subsequently, Nine West said it discovered another group under a different alias with the same false audition listed, which had attracted 226 members. Nine West alleged trademark infringement, false description, false representation and other claims in its complaint. The company asked the court for an injunction, damages and to require the individuals behind the Facebook groups to hand over all documents, photos and other information they had received from anyone who responded to the postings.

Chanel filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Yury Byalik, who does business as Effordablejewelry.com, Inspiredstyles.com, Inspired Styles, Replicasuite.com and Copycatwatches.com. According to court documents filed in New Jersey federal court, Chanel alleged that Byalik sold watches and necklaces bearing copies of its trademarks. The lawsuit was filed on Aug. 21. Chanel asked the court for a preliminary and permanent injunction, damages and trial costs. Byalik could not be reached for comment.

Separately, Chanel filed a lawsuit in Chicago federal court against Theresa Grace Foster, Herman Foster and Nicole Johnson. According to court documents, the three operate Edesigneritalia.com, Edesigneritalia, leblancsbijouxandhandbags.com, Eluxuryboutique.net, Faux Moda, Fauxmoda.com and Bestpricedesigners.com. The lawsuit, filed Aug. 20, alleged the defendants sold handbags, wallets, shoes, key chains, earrings and watches with copies of Chanel trademarks on them. Chanel asked the court for an injunction, damages and trial costs. The defendants could not be reached for comment.

Heineken Brouwerijen, the beer company, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against GI Apparel, Panama Jack and Kohl’s Corp. for allegedly selling T-shirts with a picture of the Heineken beer bottle on them. The Heineken bottle was featured among other brand name bottles, according to court documents. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Indiana on Aug. 15. Heineken asked the court for an injunction, damages and trial costs. Kohl’s declined to comment on pending litigation, but said that its T-shirt supplier was handling the matter with GI Apparel. Officials at GI Apparel didn’t return phone calls seeking comment. Panama Jack declined to comment.

Nike Inc. filed a lawsuit against Sean Allen, who does business as Cleansoles.com, Fashiondmp.com and Starcitycollectibles.com, for allegedly selling counterfeit Nike shoes. The lawsuit was filed Aug. 15 in Miami federal court. In court documents Nike said it asked Allen to cease and desist to no avail. The lawsuit asked for an injunction, damages and trial costs. Allen could not be reached for comment.

In an unrelated case, Nike filed a lawsuit against Phoenix Plentipotentiary Potentates Inc., which does business as Miamikicks.com and Miamikicks.ecrater.com, Wali Gordon and Yves Mary Ottinot. The lawsuit, filed Aug. 10 in Miami federal court, alleged the defendants sold counterfeit Nikes. Nike filed the lawsuit for trademark infringement and counterfeiting after the defendants neglected to respond to cease and desist requests, according to legal documents. Nike asked the court for an injunction, damages and trial costs. The defendants could not be reached for comment.

Cameron Industries Inc. filed a lawsuit against Larry Hansel Clothing and Rampage Clothing Co. for allegedly infringing on a fabric copyright the company holds. The lawsuit was filed on Aug. 10 in Manhattan federal court. Cameron Industries asked the court for an injunction and $2 million in damages. Representatives for Larry Hansel Clothing and Rampage did not return calls seeking comment.

Separately, Cameron Industries filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against T Juniors Inc. The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court on Aug. 10. Cameron alleged that T Juniors sold garments with a fabric pattern that infringed on a copyright it holds. Cameron asked for an injunction and $1 million in damages. T Juniors declined to comment.