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Peaceable Planet, Inc. v. Ty Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
362 F.3d 986 (2004)


Facts

Peaceable Planet, Inc. (Peaceable) (plaintiff) and Ty Inc. (Ty) (defendant) are both companies that make stuffed animals with bean-like stuffing. Peaceable sold a stuffed camel named Niles in 1999. Ty began selling a stuffed camel named Niles in 2000. While Peaceable only sold a few thousand camels during 1999, Ty sold almost two million in 2000. Peaceable then sued Ty, claiming that the name “Niles” for its stuffed camel was protected under trademark law. The district court found that “Niles” was a descriptive term, because it is a personal name, and that it had no secondary meaning. Therefore, “Niles” was not protected under trademark law. Peaceable appealed the district court’s decision.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)

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