Coach, Inc. v. Island Rayz

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Trademarks, Infringement
  • Date Filed: 04-11-2013
  • Case #: No. 1:11–cv–478
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division.
  • Full Text Opinion

Counterfeit products create a presumption of likelihood of confusion as to whether the sellers are affiliated with the owner of the senior mark.

Opinion (Litkovitz): Ray and Tara McDonald (“the McDonalds”) own and operate Island Rayz tanning salon where they had been re-selling counterfeit handbags that were designed to look like handbags made by Coach, Inc. (“Coach”), some of which bore Coach’s trademarked “C” design in the fabric. Coach and Coach Services, Inc. sued the McDonalds for several different causes of action including trademark dilution and infringement under §1114 of the Lanham Act. Coach moved for summary judgment under the Lanham Act claim. To find liability for trademark infringement under the Lanham Act, Coach must demonstrate that the McDonalds’ product creates a likelihood of confusion between the products. Counterfeit goods create a presumption of a likelihood of confusion. Because it is undisputed that the bags were counterfeit, the Court GRANTED Coach’s motion for partial summary judgment on the Lanham Act claim.

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