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Gucci America, Inc. v. Duty Free Apparel, Ltd.

286 F. Supp. 2d 284 (2003)

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Gucci America, Inc. v. Duty Free Apparel, Ltd.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

286 F. Supp. 2d 284 (2003)

Facts

Gucci America, Inc. (Gucci) (plaintiff) owned the trademark and trade name for “GUCCI” and various logos and designs using the letters G and GG. These trademarks were internationally known in the fashion industry in connection with the sale of jewelry, watches, handbags, wallets, and accessories. Gucci investigators purchased what were supposedly a Gucci wallet and Gucci handbags from Duty Free Apparel, Ltd. (DFA) (defendant), a retailer of designer merchandise. Gucci brought an action and claimed that DFA sold counterfeit Gucci merchandise in violation of the Lanham Act. DFA identified Harvest Wrap (Harvest) (defendant) as the source of its Gucci merchandise. Gucci deposed Sherry Dvorkin, a private seller of women’s accessories, who testified that Harvest sold her over $50,000 worth of purportedly Gucci backpacks and pouch bags. Dvorkin provided Gucci’s lawyers with two of these purportedly Gucci backpacks she had purchased and the invoice from Harvest. Gucci offered the testimony of an expert witness, Luciano Chiarelli, who was the head of Gucci’s quality-control department. Chiarelli obtained authentic component parts from Gucci suppliers and identified various deviations in the products sold by Harvest. Chiarelli determined that the wallet, handbags, and two backpacks purchased from Harvest were counterfeits, not genuine Gucci. Harvest argued that Chiarelli failed to perform a side-by-side comparison of the fully-assembled, genuine Gucci items with Harvest’s products. Harvest argued that its items were not counterfeits. Gucci sought a partial summary judgment on its federal counterfeiting claims against DFA and Harvest.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Marrero, J.)

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