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Fendi Adele, S.R.L. v. Ashley Reed Trading, Inc.

507 F. App’x 26 (2013)

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Fendi Adele, S.R.L. v. Ashley Reed Trading, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

507 F. App’x 26 (2013)

Facts

Fendi Adele, S.R.L. (Fendi) (plaintiff) was an Italian producer of various trademarked luxury-fashion leather goods and accessories. Fendi contacted Ashley Reed Trading, Inc. (Ashley) (defendant), a retailer of leather goods and accessories, and representatives from both companies met to discuss Fendi’s belief that Ashley was selling products that infringed on Fendi’s trademarks. Ashley was put on notice of Fendi’s concern that Ashley was selling counterfeit products, but Ashley continued to sell these products. Fendi continued to investigate Ashley’s sales activities until Fendi discovered counterfeit handbags that Fendi could prove Ashley sold. Fendi brought suit promptly against Ashley for trademark counterfeiting in violation of the Lanham Act. Ashley claimed a lack of actual knowledge of trademark counterfeiting. Ashley’s representative, Scott Ressler (defendant) testified that he conducted side-by-side comparisons to ensure the authenticity of Ashley’s products. Fendi argued that there were obvious differences between Ashley’s counterfeit goods and Fendi’s genuine goods that were sufficient to show Ashley’s willful infringement of Fendi’s trademarks. Fendi moved for summary judgment on its trademark-counterfeiting claim against Ashley. The district court found willful infringement and held Ashley liable for trademark counterfeiting. Ashley appealed and contended that the district court erred by deciding on summary judgment that Ashley’s infringement was willful in the absence of a finding of actual knowledge.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Katzmann, Parker, Wesley, J.J.J.)

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