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SOURCE Fish & Richardson
Court finds Luv n' Care's flip-straw top and hard spout cup generic and not protected by federal trade dress law
NEW YORK, Dec. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Fish & Richardson announced today that its client, Regent Baby Products Corp. (Regent Baby), prevailed on its motion for partial summary judgment in an ongoing trade dress infringement suit with Luv n' Care Ltd. (LNC) and Admar International, Inc. over sippy cups and other baby products. On December 11, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued an Opinion and Order holding that LNC's flip-straw top and hard spout cup are generic, "common shapes frequently used in the sippy cup industry" that do not warrant trade dress protection under the Lanham Act.
In business since 1946, Regent Baby is a family-owned company located in Queens, New York that sells baby feeding products as well as baby clothing, accessories, and juvenile items under the well-known BABY KING brand. LNC, which sells baby products under various private labels and the NUBY trademark, filed its suit against Regent Baby three years ago, in December 2010. LNC alleged trade dress infringement, design patent infringement, and other business torts related to more than a dozen baby products including sippy cups, food containers, teething keys, pacifiers, and pacifier holders. Prior to the recent Order, the patent issues were stayed pending reexamination and LNC withdrew all of its claims on nine of the products in dispute. The Court's Order dismisses two more of the disputed products – a flip-straw top and hard spout cup.
In granting Regent Baby's motion for partial summary judgment on the trade dress claims, the Court relied upon the "numerous examples" of other hard spout cups and flip-straw tops in the marketplace, explaining that a product shape that "conforms to well-established industry custom is generic." The Court also dismissed LNC's tortious interference claim, finding that it was supported by conclusory allegations and nothing more.
"We are extremely pleased with this result. This is a well-deserved victory not only for our client, Regent Baby, but also for all of the baby product manufacturers and retailers who have been the target of suits just like this one. Judge Scheindlin issued a comprehensive and well-reasoned opinion that falls squarely within Second Circuit precedent," said Kristen McCallion, principal at Fish & Richardson in New York, who is lead counsel on the case with John S. Goetz, also a principal in Fish's New York office.
Regent Baby Products Corp., popularly known as BABY KING, has been a leader in the infant category since 1946. Regent owns over 250,000 square feet of warehouse space and sells over 500 baby items through all channels of retail distribution.
Fish & Richardson is a global law firm providing strategic counseling and litigation services to innovative clients who seek to protect and maximize the value of their intellectual property (IP). Founded in 1878, Fish's early clients included Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers. The firm has more than 400 attorneys and technology specialists practicing IP strategy and counseling, IP litigation, and commercial litigation. Fish is consistently singled out for its superior technical expertise and great results, and has been named the top patent litigation firm in the country for ten consecutive years and the number one IP firm for America's biggest companies. Visit www.fr.com or follow @fishrichardson on Twitter.
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