Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. v. Gulf & Western Corp.

644 F.2d 946 (1981)

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Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. v. Gulf & Western Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
644 F.2d 946 (1981)

SH

Facts

Simon & Schuster, a division of Gulf & Western Corp. (defendant), was the exclusive United States distributor of the successful Harlequin Presents romance-novel series and other books published by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. (plaintiff). Harlequin notified Simon & Schuster that it planned to let the distribution agreement expire and, beginning in 1980, conduct its own distribution in the United States. Shortly thereafter, Simon & Schuster decided to launch its own line of romance novels under the title Silhouette Romance. In March 1980, one month before the Silhouette Romance series appeared on the market, Harlequin filed a trade-dress infringement suit alleging that the Silhouette Romance cover was virtually identical to that of the Harlequin Presents series. The district court agreed and ordered Simon & Schuster to cease using the cover format it had adopted for its new series of romance novels.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lumbard, J.)

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