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Calvin Klein Cosmetics Corp. v. Parfums de Coeur, Ltd.
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
824 F.2d 665 (1987)
Calvin Klein Cosmetics Corp. (plaintiff) distributed high-priced fragrance products under the registered trademark Obsession. Calvin Klein sold the Obsession fragrances in prestigious department stores and spent substantial sums on advertising them. Parfums de Coeur, Ltd. (defendant) made a line of Designer Imposter fragrances, including an imitation of Obsession called Confess. Parfums sold Confess as a body spray and a spray cologne, and Confess was priced far below Obsession. Both the Confess body spray and spray cologne were marketed with a slogan that stated if you like Obsession, you’ll love Confess. The labels and marketing material disclosed that Obsession was a registered trademark of Calvin Klein, but the reference to Parfums as the manufacturer varied between the body spray and spray cologne. Calvin Klein sued Obsession, alleging trademark infringement. The trial court granted a preliminary injunction against the sale of the body spray because the body-spray container was ambiguous regarding the manufacturer information, potentially causing a likelihood of confusion. However, the trial court refused to enjoin the use of the like/love slogan. The trial court did include an order for Parfums to refrain from using any packaging, labels, or other materials that would be likely to cause confusion as to whether the products were sponsored by or associated with Calvin Klein. Both Calvin Klein and Parfums appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Lay, C.J.)
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