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Wood v. Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon

Court of Appeals of New York
118 N.E. 214 (1917)



Wood (plaintiff) entered into a contract with Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon (Lady Duff-Gordon) (defendant), whereby Lady Duff-Gordon agreed to grant Wood the exclusive right to place her endorsement on others’ clothing designs. She also granted Wood the exclusive right to market her designs and sell them. In return, Lady Duff-Gordon would receive 50 percent of the profits from Wood’s efforts with regard to her endorsements and designs. Wood agreed to keep records of all accounts and to take out all patents, copyrights, and trademarks necessary to protect Lady Duff-Gordon’s designs. Lady Duff-Gordon later entered into a contract with another company whereby she placed her endorsement on others’ clothing designs. Wood filed suit, claiming breach of contract. Lady Duff-Gordon filed a motion for demurrer, arguing that there was no enforceable contract for lack of consideration. The trial court denied the motion. Lady Duff-Gordon appealed. The Appellate Division reversed and entered judgment for Lady Duff-Gordon. Wood appealed to the Court of Appeals of New York.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Cardozo, J.)

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