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Cartier International B.V. v. Ben-Menachem

2008 WL 64005 (2008)

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Cartier International B.V. v. Ben-Menachem

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

2008 WL 64005 (2008)

Facts

Cartier International B.V. (Cartier) (plaintiff) was a fashion manufacturer and distributor with an international reputation for high-quality luxury goods. Cartier used its federally registered trademarks for a collection of watches sold throughout the world. Cartier’s representatives investigated reports of counterfeiting and discovered that a company called Ben-Menachem (Ben) (defendant) imported, exported, distributed, advertised, offered for sale through various websites, and sold counterfeit watches bearing Cartier’s trademarks. Family members Ilan Ben-Menachem, Aviv Ben-Menachem, David Ben-Menachem, and Chana Ben-Menachem (defendants) operated the websites and counterfeiting entities out of their shared home. The websites displayed photographs of replicas that were designed to look exactly like genuine Cartier watches and bore copies of Cartier’s trademarks. Cartier filed an action in the district court, claiming that Ben counterfeited Cartier’s watches by copying 19 different federally registered trademarks in violation of the Lanham Act. The district court issued a temporary restraining order and a civil-seizure order. Police officers, Cartier’s representatives, and Cartier’s attorneys executed the civil-seizure order at Ben’s office, which was also the residence of Ilan, Aviv, David, and Chana. The district court held an evidentiary hearing and entered a preliminary injunction against Ben’s importing, distributing, advertising, and selling of the counterfeit watches. Cartier filed a motion for summary judgment on its counterfeiting claim.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sweet, J.)

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