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Charles Jacquin Et Cie, Inc. v. Destileria Serralles, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
921 F.2d 467 (1990)


Facts

Charles Jacquin Et Cie, Inc. (Jacquin) (plaintiff) was a producer of alcoholic beverages based in Pennsylvania. Jacquin developed a particular bottle for its line of cordials that was just under 11 inches tall and had a tapered bottom. Jacquin used the image of its distinctive bottle in most of its advertising. Destileria Serralles, Inc. (DSI) (defendant) was a producer of rum schnapps based in Puerto Rico. DSI developed a line of rum schnapps to market in the United States under the name Don Juan. DSI developed a bottle for its Don Juan line that was 10 inches tall with a tapered bottom. Although there were some differences between the bottles used by Jacquin and DSI, they appeared similar from the side. Crown Marketing International (Crown) (defendant) distributed Don Juan for sale in several states. Jacquin sued DSI and Crown under the Lanham Act for infringement of Jacquin’s trade dress. Jacquin presented evidence of its sales in eight states. This evidence was meant to show the geographic areas where Jacquin’s trade dress had allegedly acquired secondary meaning in the cordials market and consumer confusion was likely. However, Jacquin’s sales accounted for more than three percent of all cordial sales in only three of the states. Further, Jacquin did not present any evidence that its tapered bottle had acquired secondary meaning beyond the cordials market, like in the larger distilled-spirits market. A jury found infringement. However, the district court found that an injunction stopping DSI from using a similar bottle was appropriate only in Pennsylvania, where Jacquin’s market penetration was highest. Additionally, the district court limited the injunction’s protection to “cordials and specialties.” On appeal, Jacquin argued that the district court erred in limiting the scope of the injunction to: (1) Pennsylvania and (2) just cordials and specialties rather than the broader category of “spirits.”

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Nygaard, J.)

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