By  on March 20, 2006

NEW YORK — The Neiman Marcus Group Inc. and NM Nevada Trust filed a lawsuit against Neiman-Barkus, The House of Doggy Style LLC and its current and past owners for alleged service mark infringement and other claims related to its name. The case was filed in federal court in southern Florida early in March. According to court documents, Neiman Marcus claimed that Neiman-Barkus used a trade name it alleged is confusingly similar to its own to sell pet accessories.

The lawsuit alleged service mark infringement, false designation of origin, federal and state dilution, cyber-squatting, deceptive and unfair trade practices and unfair competition. Neiman Marcus asked the court to issue a preliminary and permanent injunction against the pet accessories retailer to enjoin it from "infringing, diluting or cyber-squatting on the Neiman Marcus Marks, or false advertising, unfairly competing with Neiman Marcus or NM Nevada Trust." Neiman Marcus also asked for compensatory and statutory damages, plus the cost of the litigation.

"I think this [lawsuit] is absolutely ridiculous," said Neiman-Barkus owner William Thomson. He said he intends to fight the lawsuit and has engaged an attorney. Thomson has owned the doggy boutique since December.

Gidon Fisher filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. in Manhattan federal court on March 9. The lawsuit alleged that PVH used a "GCOOL" trademark in connection with performance fabric used in its Izod division that infringed on Fisher's existing registration for the mark. According to the court documents, Fisher's lawyer sent PVH a letter objecting to its use of the trademark and the company agreed to phase it out. Fisher alleged that despite the agreement, PVH continued to distribute and sell apparel under "the confusingly similar and infringing mark, GCHILL." GCHILL is also sold under the Izod umbrella.

"The willful nature of defendant's activities is exemplified by the fact that defendant began using GCHILL after receiving a notice letter from plaintiff advising of plaintiff's rights in the GCOOL mark," said the complaint.

Gidon asked for a preliminary and permanent injunction against PVH, for an accounting of profits and for actual and punitive damages plus the cost of the action.

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