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Libman Company v. Vining Industries, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
69 F.3d 1360 (1995)


Libman Company (plaintiff) was a broom manufacturer that held a federal trademark consisting of a color pattern in the bristles of its brooms, with one section of bristles being a different color than the other. The trademark did not include a specific set of colors, and Libman manufactured these striped-bristle brooms in a variety of bristle colors. Vining Industries (defendant), another broom manufacturer, began selling brooms with bristles in contrasting stripes of light and medium grey. Both types of brooms were sold in wrappers, Vining’s wrappers concealed the contrasting colors of the bristles, and the labels on each type of broom were not similar. Libman sued Vining for trademark infringement. The district court held for Libman, enjoined Vining from selling its brooms, and granted Libman $1.2 million in monetary relief based upon Vining’s profits for its brooms. Vining appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Posner, C.J.)

Dissent (Coffey, J.)

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