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McBee v. Delica Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
417 F.3d 107 (2005)


Facts

Cecil McBee (plaintiff) was a successful and internationally renowned American jazz musician. Delica Co. (defendant) was a Japanese clothing retailer that created and sold a line of girls’ clothing under the trade name “Cecil McBee.” Delica obtained a Japanese trademark for that name in both English and Japanese characters, and operated retail stores and a website under the mark. The website was viewable in the United States over the internet, but consisted almost entirely of Japanese characters. At McBee’s request, the Japanese trademark office invalidated Delica’s trademark, but it was later reinstated upon appeal. Although Delica’s policy was to not sell any Cecil McBee products in the United States, McBee was able to surreptitiously have a few items shipped into the United States through the efforts of Japanese-speaking investigators. McBee sued Delica in federal court for false endorsement and dilution under the Lanham Act. The district court dismissed the claims for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. McBee appealed, seeking a domestic injunction against sales in the United States and against the continued presence of the website on the internet in the United States.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lynch, J.)

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