By  on January 2, 2007

An investigation by Immigrations and Cus­toms Enforcement, an investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, broke up a smuggling ring shipping counterfeit apparel into the United States, according to a statement Dec. 13. Four individuals in New York, New Jersey and Texas were arrested for allegedly trafficking counterfeit goods. The apparel brands allegedly counterfeited included: Akademiks, Marithé & François Girbaud, Nike, Baby Phat, Pepe, Enyce, Evisu, Rocawear, Lacoste, Route 66 and Sean John. The goods tracked in the investigation conducted by ICE were manufactured overseas in China, Paki­stan and other countries and were smuggled by sea and air through the Newark, N.J., seaport and John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

"The apparel industry is important to our economy and to those many Americans whose livelihood depends on it. That industry is increasingly threatened by counterfeiters who sell fake trademarked goods to sometimes unwitting consumers," said Michael J. Garcia, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, where the defendants were charged.

AnnTaylor Stores Corp., Annco Inc. and AnnTaylor Inc. on Dec. 20 won a consent judgment and permanent injunction in a lawsuit filed against Kleinfeld Bridal Corp. over the use of the word "loft." The initial lawsuit, filed in a Manhattan federal court on Nov. 29, alleged that Kleinfeld's Bridesmaids' Loft store name infringed on its own Ann Taylor Loft trademark. According to court documents, the parties reached an agreement that prohibits Kleinfeld from using the terms "loft" or "the loft." The settlement does allow Kleinfeld to continue to use the terms "Kleinfeld Bridesmaids' Loft," "Kleinfeld Bridal Loft" and "Bridesmaids' Loft" if the word "loft" is the same size and color as the other words.

A Manhattan federal court judge on Dec. 14 granted Chloé, a division of Richemont North America Inc., and Chloé SA a default judgment and permanent injunction against one of several defendants in a trademark infringement lawsuit filed earlier this year. The judgment, against Mohammad Alexander Zarafshan, prohibits the defendant from using or infringing on Chloé trademarks. The original complaint was filed against a list of defendants for allegedly using counterfeit Chloé trademarks on handbags. The bulk of the case is still pending.Victoria's Secret Stores, Victoria's Secret Direct and Bath & Body Works filed a request for declaratory judgment against Aspen Licensing International in Manhattan federal court on Dec. 13. Ac­cording to court documents, Victoria's Secret asked the court to declare that its line of ski season-themed merchandise does not infringe on Aspen Licensing's "Aspen" trademark. Vic­toria's Se­cret released a line of sweatshirts and jackets that include the names of well-known skiing locations, including Aspen. Bath & Body Works incorporated the theme and imagery of Aspen, Colo., into its holiday personal care products. According to the complaint, Aspen Licensing has threatened Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works with litigation if they continue to sell products using the word "Aspen." The companies asked the court for a declaration of noninfringement.

Feld Entertainment, which does business as Ring­ling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and Sephora USA Inc. reached a settlement on Dec. 11 in a trademark lawsuit. The initial complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York, alleged that Sephora infringed on Ringling Bros.' "The Greatest Show on Earth" slogan with its holiday marketing campaign. According to court documents the two parties reached a judgment on consent that restrains Sephora from using "The Greatest Gift Show on Earth" in advertising, promotion or marketing materials.

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