JA Apparel Corporation v. Abboud

682 F. Supp. 2d 294 (2010)

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JA Apparel Corporation v. Abboud

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
682 F. Supp. 2d 294 (2010)

Facts

A men’s fashion designer, Joseph Abboud (defendant) signed a purchase and sale agreement (the agreement) in which he agreed to sell all of his rights in the trademark “Joseph Abboud” to JA Apparel Corporation (JA) (plaintiff) in exchange for $65.5 million. During the agreed-upon noncompetition period, Abboud began to develop a clothing line with a new trademark “jaz” that would compete with clothing and accessories sold by JA under the trademark “Joseph Abboud.” JA brought suit in the district court against Abboud for trademark infringement in violation of the Lanham Trade-Mark Act. JA claimed that Abboud’s proposed use of his full name in connection with the “jaz” clothing line would infringe JA’s trademarks. Abboud claimed that the proposed use of his full name in advertising for the new “jaz” clothing line, in the context of a complete sentence or descriptive phrase, was trademark fair use. The district court conducted a bench trial and granted JA injunctive relief to prevent Abboud from using his full name in advertising for the new “jaz” clothing line. Abboud appealed. The appeals court vacated the district court’s decision and remanded back to the district court. Abboud and JA submitted briefs addressing whether the proposed advertisements for the new “jaz” clothing line, containing Abboud’s full name, constituted trademark fair use under the Lanham Trade-Mark Act.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Katz, J.)

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