Madison Ave. Caviarteria, Inc. v. Caviaria.com, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5817 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 7, 2004).
Factual Background Edit
Plaintiff has sold gourmet foods, including caviar, smoked salmon, and foie gras, through a boutique and restaurant under the federally registered mark CAVIARTERIA since 1950. Plaintiff also sells its products through mail order and the Internet. In March 2003, defendant began selling similar gourmet foods—including caviar, smoked salmon, and foie gras—on its website located at “caviaria.com.” Plaintiff learned of defendant’s business in November 2003 and sent a cease-and-desist letter.
Trial Court Proceedings Edit
Following defendant’s refusal to comply with plaintiff’s demands, plaintiff sued defendant for trademark infringement and moved for a preliminary injunction. In granting plaintiff’s motion, the court found, among other things, that plaintiff’s mark was suggestive and thus inherently distinctive; the parties’ marks were very similar, the only difference being the letters “TER” in the middle of plaintiff’s mark; both parties sold the same type of goods and both sold them on the Internet; and there was evidence of actual confusion because at least one of plaintiff’s customers mistook defendant’s website for plaintiff’s.
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