Christian Dior v. Frederick L. Milton et al.

155 N.Y.S.2d 443 (1956)

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Christian Dior v. Frederick L. Milton et al.

New York Supreme Court
155 N.Y.S.2d 443 (1956)

Facts

Christian Dior (Dior) (plaintiff) was an haute couture fashion company that designed original women’s clothing. Dior had achieved worldwide recognition as a leading, esteemed designer with highly valued designs. When showing new design collections, Dior restricted attendance solely to audiences who were legally bound to maintain the confidentiality of the designs. Such audience members agreed not to create any reproductions of the designs, including sketches. Frederick Milton (defendant) and certain associates gained access to Dior shows by making false representations, after which Milton produced and sold sketches of Dior’s designs without Dior’s approval. Dior filed a claim that Milton had engaged in unfair competition with Dior by violating Dior’s exclusive rights in the reproduction of its designs. Dior asserted that unauthorized, leaked information regarding its designs substantially reduced demand for, and thus the value of, Dior’s designs. In response, Milton filed a motion to dismiss, arguing there could not be a cause of action for unfair competition because Dior’s complaint did not describe a violation of property rights.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Greenberg, J.)

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