Stone Creek, Inc. v. Omnia Italian Design, Inc.

2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12393 (2017)

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Stone Creek, Inc. v. Omnia Italian Design, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12393 (2017)

Facts

Stone Creek, Inc. (plaintiff) was a furniture manufacturer and retailer with five showrooms in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Stone Creek used a mark consisting of a red oval surrounding the words Stone Creek, for which it obtained state trademark protection in 1992. Stone Creek federally registered the mark in 2012. Omnia Italian Design, Inc. (Omnia) (defendant) was a manufacturer of leather furniture. In 2003, Omnia and Stone Creek entered into a contract under which Omnia manufactured furniture for Stone Creek branded with the Stone Creek mark. In 2013, Stone Creek learned that for several years Omnia had also been using the Stone Creek mark to sell furniture in the Midwest without Stone Creek’s permission. Stone Creek filed suit, alleging that Omnia had engaged in federal and common-law trademark infringement and unfair competition. The district court found that there was no likelihood of confusion and ruled in favor of Omnia. On Stone Creek’s appeal, Omnia argued, among other things, that its use was protected under the Tea Rose–Rectanus doctrine, which provided that a subsequent good-faith user could acquire rights in areas that were geographically removed from the original user’s territory.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McKeown, J.)

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