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Lichtenberg v. Alex & Chloe - Opinion

Lichtenberg v. Alex & Chloe - Opinion

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Published by Mark H. Jaffe

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Published by: Mark H. Jaffe on Jul 28, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTCENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIABRIAN LICHTENBERG,LLC, aCalifornia limited liabilitycompany; BRIAN LICHTENBERG,an individual,Plaintiffs,v.ALEX & CHLOE, INC., aCalifornia corporation;CHRISTOPHER WALTERLICHTENBERG, an individual;MARKED SHOWROOM, LLC, aCalifornai limited liabilitycompany; JACQUELINE YI, anindividual; TU TRAN, anindividual KYLE MOCKETT, anindividual; KAYTEE ENRIGHT,an individual,Defendants. __________________________)))))))))))))))))))))))Case No. CV 13-06837 DDP (PJWx)
[Dkt. No. 73]Presently before the court is Plaintiffs’ Motion forPreliminary Injunction. Having considered the parties’ submissionsand heard oral argument, the court grants the motion in part,denies the motion in part, and adopts the following order. ///
Case 2:13-cv-06837-DDP-PJW Document 99 Filed 07/25/14 Page 1 of 18 Page ID #:4777
A.Factual BackgroundAs described more extensively in this courts prior orders,Plaintiff Brian Lichtenberg (“Brian”) designs clothing andaccessories and distributes his products through Brian Lichtenberg,LLC.
 (Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) ¶¶ 16-17.) Briansdesigns include a series of parodies of designer brands, such as“Homiès” as a play on “Hermès” and “Bucci,” a parody of “Gucci.(SAC 18.) Brians spoof or parody logos mimic the style, font,and other elements of the luxury brand designs. (Id.) Brian sellsshirts, sweatshirts, pants, beanies, and hats bearing the variousspoof designs. (SAC 16-18.) Brian alleges that his designs arevery successful, and are frequently worn by celebrities andfeatured in the media. (SAC 19-22.) Brians younger brother, Defendant Christopher WalterLichtenberg (“Chris”), is the sole shareholder or principal oDefendant Alex and Chloe, Inc. (“A&C”). (SAC 3-4.)  The SAC alleges that in January 2012, Brian developed oneparticular parody design, “Ballin,” as a play on the luxury brand“Balmain.(SAC 43.) By November 2012, Chris was working as a“part-time contractorfor Brian. (SAC 46.) Chris’ dutiesincluded graphic design and promotional work related to Brians“Ballin with My Homies” project. (Id.) In connection with those
 Plaintiff Brian Lichtenberg and Defendant ChristopherLichtenberg are brothers. For claritys sake, this Order refers tothese parties by their first names. Hereinafter, this Orderfrequently refers to Plaintiffs Brian Lichtenberg and BrianLichtenberg, LLC, collectively, as “Brian.
Case 2:13-cv-06837-DDP-PJW Document 99 Filed 07/25/14 Page 2 of 18 Page ID #:4778
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728duties, Chris allegedly had access to confidential lists of Brianscustomers and industry contacts. (SAC 47.)  The SAC alleges that Chris copied and claimed ownership of the“Ballin” design, contacted Brians manufacturer and requested thatproducts identical to Brians be made under the A&C label, and usedBrians confidential customer lists to sell the A&C version of the“Ballinitems. (SAC 51-56.) Chris listed his products forsale on the A&C website in late January or early February 2013,before Brians “Ballinproducts came to market. (Id.)Chris repeatedly claimed to own the “Ballin” design via theinternet and social media. (SAC 66-68.) Chris also contactedseveral of Brians buyers, stated that Brians “Ballin” productswere counterfeits, and asked that retailers stop selling Brians“Ballinproducts. (SAC 58-60; 63-65.) Chris then made furtherpublic statements claiming that Brian had stolen not only the“Ballin” design, but other parody designs as well. (SAC 67-68.) At Chris’s request, social media sites removed images of Brians“Ballinapparel posted to Brians pages. (SAC 73.) Chris and A&C then expanded their offerings to include otherproducts similar to Brians, featuring other parody designs beyond“Ballin.(SAC 86.) Chris also appropriated photographs ocelebrities wearing Brians products, then claimed on the A&Cwebsite and elsewhere that those celebrities endorsed A&C. (SAC 80-82, 84-85.) B.Procedural History Plaintiffs filed an initial complaint in this court on
Case 2:13-cv-06837-DDP-PJW Document 99 Filed 07/25/14 Page 3 of 18 Page ID #:4779

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