QVC Inc. is calling foul in a settlement reached last year between Van Cleef & Arpels and Mouawad USA Inc. in a trademark infringement suit.
The West Chester, Pa.-based television retailer filed a breach of contract suit against Mouawad last week, alleging the settlement limits its rights to sell merchandise it bought from the jewelry firm.
In a complaint filed in federal court in Philadelphia on April 3, QVC charges Los Angeles-based Mouawad misrepresented its intellectual property rights when it sold the retailer pieces in the Heidi Klum Collection.
Van Cleef & Arpels filed suit against Mouawad and Klum in December 2007, alleging they had infringed on its Alhambra trade dress in parts of the line. The parties made an undisclosed settlement last year, with neither side admitting liability.
Though QVC was not a party to the earlier lawsuit, the agreement allowed it a sell-off period on the goods until June 30. In its suit, the retailer said the settlement “severely limited and restricted” its right to sell the merchandise. It is seeking monetary damages, lawyers’ fees, a cash refund and an injunction compelling Mouawad to accept the return of the goods.
Mouawad USA president Pascal Mouawad denied the allegations in QVC’s complaint and said the lawsuit has no merit.