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Third Amended Complaint Doc#134-1

Third Amended Complaint Doc#134-1

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Published by Brent Lang

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Published by: Brent Lang on Jan 19, 2012
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDACASE NO. 09-21893-CIV-HOEVELER/GARBER MICHAEL CHOWknown as“MR. CHOW”,MR CHOW ENTERPRISES, LTD,a CaliforniaLimited Partnership, MC MIAMI ENTERPRISES, LLC,a Florida Limited Liability Company,MC TRIBECA, LLC,a New YorkLimited LiabilityCompany, and TC VENTURES,INC., a New York Corporation,Plaintiffs,v.CHAK YAM CHAU,STRATIS MORFOGEN, DAVID LEE,PHILIPPE MIAMI LLC, a Florida Limited LiabilityCompany,PHILIPPE NORTH AMERICARESTAURANTS, LLC, a New York Limited LiabilityCompany, PHILIPPE RESTAURANT CORP.,a New York Corporation,DAVÉ 60 NYC, INC.,a New York Corporation, PHILIPPE EXPRESS LLC,a New York Corporation,PHILIPPE WEST COAST LLC,a California Limited Partnership, COSTIN DUMITRESCU,MANNY HAILEY, YAO WU FANG, SUN CHUN HUI,MARK CHENG and PING CHING KWOK,Defendants. _____________________________________________/
THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT
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Plaintiff Michael Chow, known as “Mr. Chow,” together with the entities thatoperate therestaurants known as “MR CHOW”:MR. CHOW ENTERPRISES, LTD., MC MIAMIENTERPRISES, LLC,TC VENTURES, INC.,andMC TRIBECA, LLC(collectively,the “MR CHOW Restaurants”)sue Defendants and allege: 
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This Third Amended Complaint is filed with the written consent of all represented Defendants.The unrepresented Defendants Cheng and Hui have not filed any objections to this ThirdAmended Complaint by the deadline of April 12, 2010 to do so.
Case 1:09-cv-21893-WMH Document 134 Entered on FLSD Docket 04/13/2010 Page 1 of 47
 
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I. NATURE OF ACTION
1.This is an action by Mr. Chow and the MR CHOW RestaurantsagainstDefendants for unfair and deceptive trade practices, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, conversion, trademark infringement, false advertising, and other violations of theLanham Actas well as otherviolations of statutory and common law.2.Defendants Chak Yam Chau,Stratis Morfogen, David Lee, Costin Dumitrescu,Manny Hailey and the Defendant entities through which they collectively operate restaurantsunder the name “Philippe Chow” and “Philippe by Philippe Chow,”have engaged,and continueto engage, in ongoing and escalating efforts to unlawfully mislead, confuse and deceive the publicand theclients of the MR CHOWRestaurants, in order to wrongfully misappropriate andconvert to themselves, and profit from, the name, reputation and trademark rights of theMR CHOW Restaurants and the real Mr. Chow, as well as all of the unique, distinctive and specialelements that have made the MR CHOW Restaurants a success. As more fully explained below,Defendant Chau has personally engaged in a concerted course of conduct over an extended period of time to pass himself off falsely as the real Mr. Chow and as the creator of thosesuccessful elements.3.Defendantswrongful conduct includes, among many other things: (a)DefendantChau’s adopting the fictitious last name “Chow” in order to fraudulently and deceptively suggestthat Chau is the real Mr. Chow,or the “Chow” of Mr. Chow or his relative,or theformer “Executive Chef” ofthe well known MR CHOWRestaurant; (b)fraudulently advertising and promoting Defendant Chau as the inventor of thesignature dishes served at the MR CHOWRestaurants(when, in fact, the vast majority of these dishes were created by Mr. Chow himself many years before Defendant Chau became employed at a MR CHOW Restaurant), and as the
Case 1:09-cv-21893-WMH Document 134 Entered on FLSD Docket 04/13/2010 Page 2 of 47
 
3creator of the unique MR CHOW menuand the mastermind behind the unique dining experienceassociated with the MR CHOW Restaurants; (c)engaging in other intentionally misleading,confusing, false and deceptive promotional and advertising activities, including internetadvertising and purchasing search engine sponsored links, that divert to Defendants thereputation, business, clients and prospective clients of the real Mr. Chow and the MR CHOWRestaurants, and (d)unlawfully misappropriating the intellectual property and trade secrets of Mr. Chow and the MR CHOW Restaurants.4.Defendants’ ongoing wrongful conduct started in New York, then began anew attheir Miami Beach operation and is now continuing in California. That conduct began in 2005and was discovered by Plaintiffs thereafter over a period of time between 2005 and 2009. It hasescalated over time to the point where Plaintiffs find themselves with no other choice but tocommence this legal proceeding in order to protect their vital business interests and the name,reputation and identity of the real Mr. Chow. By this action,Mr. Chow and the MR CHOWRestaurants seek toenjoin Defendants permanently and pending judgment from such wrongfuland illegal conduct, and to recoverdamages resulting from theirunlawful actions.
II.
 
PARTIES
5.Plaintiff Michael Chow, known as “Mr. Chow,” is a resident of California and thefounder and main principalof the MR CHOWRestaurants and the creator of the MR CHOW brand.6.Plaintiff MR CHOW ENTERPRISES, LTD. is a California limited liability partnership that operates theMR CHOWrestaurant located in Beverly Hills, California andwhich owns the MR CHOW trademarks.7.Plaintiff T.C. VENTURES, INC. is a New York corporation that operates the MR 
Case 1:09-cv-21893-WMH Document 134 Entered on FLSD Docket 04/13/2010 Page 3 of 47

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