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Chanel, Inc. v. Italian Activewear of Florida, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
931 F.2d 1472 (1991)


Facts

Mervyn Brody (defendant) was the president of Italian Activewear of Florida, Inc. (defendant). Italian Activewear imported a shipment of bags and belts bearing the mark of Chanel, Inc. (plaintiff). Brody knew that the company from which he purchased the goods was not an authorized Chanel dealer. Despite this, Brody did not ask the company where it obtained the goods. Further, the bags and belts lacked several indicia of authenticity. Italian Activewear sold a portion of the shipment to a company in California. The goods turned out to be counterfeit. Chanel seized the goods sold to the California company. The California company informed Myron Greenberg, an associate of Brody’s, about the seizure. Greenberg immediately took all of the counterfeit merchandise from the Italian Activewear store and put it in the trunk of his car. Chanel sued Italian Activewear for trademark infringement. Chanel sought mandatory treble damages and attorneys’ fees pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1117(b). Brody knew that Chanel merchandise generally came with certain indicia of authenticity, but testified that he had attempted to independently verify the authenticity of the goods. The district court granted Chanel summary judgment. Italian Activewear appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Edmonson, J.)

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