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Emeco v. RH Complaint

Emeco v. RH Complaint

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Published by Emecochairs

Emeco Industries, Inc. by and through its attorneys, brings this Complaint against Defendants Restoration Hardware, Inc., its former Chief Executive Officer and present Chairman Emeritus, Creator and Curator Gary Friedman.

Emeco Industries, Inc. by and through its attorneys, brings this Complaint against Defendants Restoration Hardware, Inc., its former Chief Executive Officer and present Chairman Emeritus, Creator and Curator Gary Friedman.

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Published by: Emecochairs on Oct 01, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/19/2014

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COMPLAINT
JOHN W. SPIEGEL (SBN: 78935)John.Spiegel@mto.comMUNGER, TOLLES & OLSON LLP355 South Grand Avenue, Thirty-Fifth FloorLos Angeles, CA 90071-1560Telephone: (213) 683-9100Facsimile: (213) 687-3702JONATHAN H. BLAVIN (SBN: 230269)Jonathan.Blavin@mto.comMUNGER, TOLLES & OLSON LLP560 Mission Street, 27th FloorSan Francisco, CA 94105Telephone: (415) 512-4000Facsimile: (415) 512-4077Attorneys for Plaintiff EMECO INDUSTRIES, INC.UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTNORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIAEMECO INDUSTRIES, INC.Plaintiff,v.RESTORATION HARDWARE, INC.,GARY FRIEDMAN, and DOES 1-10.Defendants.CASE NO.
COMPLAINT FOR FEDERAL TRADEDRESS AND TRADEMARKCOUNTERFEITING ANDINFRINGEMENT; FEDERAL DILUTION;COMMON LAW TRADE DRESS ANDTRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT;VIOLATION OF CAL. BUS. & PROF.CODE §§ 14330
et seq
.; VIOLATION OFCAL. BUS. & PROF. CODE §§ 17200
et seq
.DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
 
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COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Emeco Industries, Inc. (“Emeco” or “Plaintiff”), by and through its attorneys,brings this Complaint against Defendants Restoration Hardware, Inc., its former Chief ExecutiveOfficer and present Chairman Emeritus, Creator and Curator Gary Friedman, and Does 1-10(collectively, “Restoration Hardware” or “Defendants”) for injunctive relief and damages. Emecoalleges as follows:
NATURE OF THE ACTION
1.
 
This action arises out of Restoration Hardware’s flagrant and willful infringementof Emeco’s trade dress and trademark rights in its world-renowned Navy Chair® collection.Restoration Hardware has developed and is presently selling a series of cheap knockoffs, with thenear-identical “Naval Chair” name, that copy verbatim the iconic and highly distinctive design of the Navy Chair® product line. Below is a side-by-side comparison of Emeco’s Navy Chair® andRestoration Hardware’s “Naval Chair.”
Emeco’s Navy Chair® Restoration Hardware’s “Naval Chair”
2.
 
Originally commissioned by the United States Navy during World War II, theEmeco Navy Chair® is a modern classic of twentieth century design, universally celebrated forits craftsmanship and sustainable composition. The Navy Chair® is featured in the permanentcollections of modern art museums and is a prominent fixture of homes, offices, colleges, hotels,and restaurants around the world. Composed of recycled aluminum, the chairs are sculpted and
 
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COMPLAINT
manufactured by hand in Hanover, Pennsylvania through a highly technical and precise systemof 77 steps. As a result of this rigorous process, the Navy Chair® is three times as strong as steeland is built to last for 150 years. The Navy Chair® is sold at retail for approximately $450.3.
 
Restoration Hardware’s “Naval Chair” line of chairs and stools are blatant, cheapknockoffs of the Emeco Navy® product line. By giving its chairs and stools the confusinglysimilar “Naval Chair” name and describing them as an “update of an armed forces classic,”Restoration Hardware misleadingly suggests that, like the Emeco Navy Chair®, its products areAmerican-made. On information and belief, they are manufactured in China for a fraction of thecost, and are not the result of the extensive and precise manufacturing process that ensures thehigh quality of the Navy Chair® collection. The “Naval Chair” presently sells at retail for $129.4.
 
Restoration Hardware has stated, euphemistically, that “[a]t our core we are notdesigners, rather we are curators and composers of inspired design and experiences.”
1
In fact,Restoration Hardware is not a “curator” or “composer” of others’ “inspired designs”; it is acounterfeiter of them. In advance of its upcoming IPO, Restoration Hardware’s publicly-announced revenue-surging strategy is built upon “[e]xternally discover[ing] and curat[ing]”
others’
designs, which decreases production lead times and costs.
2
Having been sued for copyingmore than half a dozen times in the past decade, Restoration Hardware’s current activities are partof an established practice of infringing others’ designs and trademarks for financial gain.5.
 
The irreparable harm caused by Restoration Hardware’s willful and manifestinfringement to Emeco’s reputation and significant goodwill is massive, incomparable to thatcaused by a typical, small-time counterfeiter. Restoration Hardware is hijacking and exploitingEmeco’s brand image and iconic designs. As an established company, consumers are highlylikely to believe that the products Restoration Hardware sells are genuine, legitimate articles, notcheap counterfeits made overseas. Emeco brings this action to halt that harm and protect itsexclusive rights. Emeco further is entitled to its actual damages, to Restoration Hardware’s illicitprofits, to statutory damages, and/or exemplary damages as a result of this unlawful conduct.
1
http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1528849/000119312512282937/d70987ds1a.htm.
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