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Chanel, Inc. v. Wynn

United States District Court, D. Nevada

April 14, 2014

Chanel, Inc., Plaintiff,
v.
Anthony L. Wynn a/k/a Anthony Wynn, d/b/a AJC Jewellery d/b/a AJC Jewelery d/b/a AJC Jewelry d/b/a AJC, Defendants.

ORDER

GLORIA M. NAVARRO, Chief District Judge.

Plaintiff Chanel, Inc., brings this action under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114, 1116, 1121 and 1125(a), alleging claims for Trademark Counterfeiting and Infringement, and False Designation of Origin, against Anthony L. Wynn a/k/a Anthony Wynn, d/b/a AJC Jewellery d/b/a AJC Jewelery d/b/a AJC Jewelry d/b/a AJC. (Compl., ECF No. 1.)

Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's Emergency Ex Parte Motion for Temporary Restraining Order (ECF No. 4), including requests for a seizure order, substitute custodian order, and order temporarily sealing the Court file.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff is "engaged in the business of manufacturing and distributing throughout the world... high quality costume jewelry, including, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, handbags, wallets, and shoes under Federally registered trademarks, " described as "the Chanel Marks." (Compl., 2:¶2.) "Upon information and belief, " Plaintiff alleges that "Wynn is directly engaging in the sale of counterfeit and infringing products within this District... and uses, at least, the aliases AJC Jewellery, ' AJC Jewelery, ' AJC Jewelry, ' and AJC' in connection with the operation of his counterfeiting business." ( Id. at 2:¶4.)

Plaintiff alleges that it is the owner of all rights in the Chanel Marks, which are protected by United States Federal Trademark Registrations, "which are registered in International Classes 14, 18 and 25, and is [sic] used in connection with the manufacture and distribution of, among other things, costume jewelry, including, necklaces, bracelets, and earring, handbags, wallets, and shoes." ( Id. at 3-4:¶7.)

Table 1. Trademarks owned by Chanel, Inc.

Plaintiff alleges that the "Chanel Marks have been used in interstate commerce to identify and distinguish Chanel's high quality costume jewelry... and other goods for an extended period of time." ( Id. at 4:¶8.) "The Chanel Marks have never been assigned or licensed to any of the Defendants in this matter, " and they "are a symbol of Chanel's quality, reputation, and goodwill and has [sic] never been abandoned." ( Id. at 4:¶¶9-10.) Plaintiff alleges that the "Chanel Marks qualify as famous marks as that term is used in 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c)(1), " and that "members of the consuming public readily identify merchandise bearing the Chanel Marks, as being high quality merchandise sponsored and approved by Chanel." ( Id. at 4:¶¶11, 13.)

Plaintiff alleges that "the Defendants in this action had full knowledge of Chanel's ownership of the Chanel Marks, including its exclusive right to use and license such intellectual property and the goodwill associated therewith." ( Id. at 5:¶15.) "Chanel has discovered the Defendants are promoting and otherwise advertising, distributing, selling and/or offering for sale counterfeit products... bearing trademarks which are an exact copy of the Chanel Marks (the Counterfeit Goods')." ( Id. at 5:¶16.) Plaintiff alleges that "the Defendants are using the Chanel Marks in the same stylized fashion, for different quality goods." ( Id. )

Plaintiff alleges that Defendants' actions "constitute counterfeiting and infringement of the Chanel Marks in violation of Chanel's rights under § 32 of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1114." ( Id. at 7:¶32.) Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that "Defendants are promoting and otherwise advertising, selling, offering for sale and distributing counterfeit and infringing costume jewelry, including, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, handbags, wallets, and shoes bearing the Chanel Marks, " and "are continuously infringing and inducing others to infringe the Chanel Marks by using them to advertise, promote and sell counterfeit costume jewelry, including, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, handbags, wallets, and shoes." ( Id. at 7:¶29.) Plaintiff alleges that "Defendants' counterfeiting and infringing activities are likely to cause and actually are causing confusion, mistake and deception among members of the trade and the general consuming public as to the origin and quality of Defendants' Counterfeit Goods bearing the Chanel Marks." ( Id. at 7:¶30.)

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders are governed by Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides that a "court may issue a preliminary injunction only on notice to the adverse party." Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(a)(1).

A "court may issue a temporary restraining order without written or oral notice to the adverse party or its attorney only if: (A) specific facts in an affidavit or a verified complaint clearly show that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the movant before the adverse party can be heard in opposition; and (B) the movant's attorney certifies in writing any efforts made to give notice and the reasons why it should not be required." Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b)(1). A temporary restraining order "should be restricted to serving [its] underlying purpose of preserving the status quo and preventing irreparable harm just so long as is necessary to hold a hearing, and no longer." Granny Goose Foods, Inc. v. Bhd. of Teamsters Local No. 70, 415 U.S. 423, 439 (1974).

"A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest." Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008). Injunctive relief is "an extraordinary remedy that may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff is entitled to such relief." Id. at 22. "[C]ourts must balance the competing claims of injury and must consider the effect on each party of the granting or withholding of the requested relief." Id. at 24 (internal quotation marks omitted).

The Ninth Circuit has held that "serious questions going to the merits and a hardship balance that tips sharply toward the plaintiff can support issuance of an injunction, assuming the other two elements of the Winter test are also met." Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1132 (9th Cir. 2011) (internal quotation marks omitted).

"In deciding a motion for a preliminary injunction, the district court is not bound to decide doubtful and difficult questions of law or disputed questions of fact.'" Int'l Molders' & Allied Workers' Local Union No. 164 v. Nelson, 799 F.2d 547, 551 (9th Cir. 1986) (quoting ...


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