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Smith v. Chanel, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
402 F.2d 562 (1968)


Facts

Smith (plaintiff) manufactured fragrances, including one called “Second Chance,” that copied famous designer fragrances. Smith advertised that these fragrances were perfect duplicates of their more expensive counterparts. Specifically, one advertisement dared consumers to try and find the difference between Smith’s “Second Chance” perfume and Chanel, Inc.’s (Chanel) (defendant) “Chanel No.5” perfume. Each of Smith’s fragrances had a note printed on the packaging that stated the famous fragrance that it was duplicating. Chanel sued Smith. At the district court, Chanel conceded that Smith could copy any unpatented fragrance formula and agreed that the packaging and labeling of Smith’s fragrances was not misleading to the consumer. The district court found that Smith had violated Chanel’s trademark because Smith was profiting off of the goodwill associated with Chanel’s trademark. Smith appealed this decision.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Browning, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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