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Playboy v. Muller

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Citation Edit

Playboy Enters. Int’l, Inc. v. Muller, 314 F.Supp.2d 1037 (D. Nev. 2004) (full-text).

Factual Background Edit

Plaintiff sued defendant for trademark infringement, dilution, and false designation of origin based on defendant’s sale of body jewelry in the same shape or bearing the exact likeness of plaintiff’s Rabbit Head Design mark. At its website located at “sexybellys.com,” defendant promoted this jewelry as “Playboy” jewelry and claimed to be a “Playboy authorized dealer” although no such relationship existed.

Trial Court Proceedings Edit

The court granted plaintiff’s motion for default judgment on all of its claims. Analyzing the likelihood of confusion for plaintiff’s claims for infringement and false designation of origin, the court followed the Ninth Circuit’s presumption of confusion when a defendant knowingly infringes a plaintiff’s mark.

Here, plaintiff sent defendant a cease-and-desist letter and in response defendant promised to refrain from further sales. Instead, defendant added additional infringing merchandise to its website and continued to violate plaintiff’s rights. The unquestionable fame of plaintiff’s mark supported a finding of dilution by blurring.

The court entered a broad injunction enjoining defendant from using plaintiff’s trademarks or suggesting that it was connected in any way with plaintiff. The defendant’s willful conduct also warranted an award of attorney’s fees in an amount to be determined.

Source Edit

This page uses content from Finnegan’s Internet Trademark Case Summaries. This entry is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).

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