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Brent H. Blakely (SBN 157292)


bblakely@blakelylawgroup.com
Cindy Chan (SBN 247495)
cchan@blakelylawgroup.com
Jessica C. Covington (SBN 301816)
jcovington@blakelylawgroup.com
BLAKELY LAW GROUP
1334 Parkview Avenue, Suite 280
Manhattan Beach, California 90266
Telephone: (310) 546-7400
Facsimile: (310) 546-7401

Attorneys for Plaintiff Hammitt, Inc.

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

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CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

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HAMMITT, INC., a California


Corporation,

) CASE NO.
)
) COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND
Plaintiff,
) EQUITABLE RELIEF
)
v.
) 1.
TRADE DRESS INFRINGEMENT;
)
NORDSTROM, INC., a
) 2.
TRADE DRESS INFRINGEMENT
Washington corporation; and DOES )
UNDER CALIFORNIA COMMON
1-10, inclusive,
)
LAW
)
Defendant.
) 3.
UNFAIR COMPETITION
)
CALIFORNIA UNFAIR BUSINESS
)
PRACTICES ACT, CAL. BUS. &
)
PROF. CODE, 17200, ET. SEQ.;
)
) 4.
UNFAIR COMPETITION UNDER
)
CALIFORNIA COMMON LAW
)
)
)
JURY TRIAL DEMANDED
)
Plaintiff Hammitt, Inc. (Plaintiff or Hammitt) for its claims against
Defendant Nordstrom, Inc. (Defendant) respectfully alleges as follows:
JURISDICTION AND VENUE

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1.

Plaintiff files this action against Defendant for trade dress infringement
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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND EQUITABLE RELIEF

and unfair competition under the Lanham Trademark Act of 1946, 15 U.S.C. 1051 et

seq. (the Lanham Act) and for related claims under the statutory and common law of

the state of California. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over the Federal

Lanham Act claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1331 and 1338.

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2.

This Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendant because Defendant

does business within this judicial district.


3.

This action arises out of wrongful acts by Defendant within this judicial

district and Plaintiff is located and has been injured in this judicial district by

Defendants alleged wrongful acts. Venue is proper in this district pursuant to 28

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U.S.C. 1391 because the claims asserted arise in this district.

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THE PARTIES
4.

Plaintiff Hammitt, Inc. is a corporation organized and existing under the

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laws of the state of California with an office and principal place of business in

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Hermosa Beach, California.

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5.

Upon information and belief, Defendant is a corporation organized and

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existing under the laws of the state of Washington with an office and principal place of

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business located at 1617 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98101.

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6.

Plaintiff is unaware of the names and true capacities of Defendants,

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whether individual, corporate and/or partnership entities, named herein as DOES 1

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through 10, inclusive, and therefore sues them by their fictitious names. Plaintiff will

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seek leave to amend this complaint when their true names and capacities are

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ascertained. Plaintiff is informed and believes, and based thereon alleges, that said

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Defendant and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, are in some manner responsible for the

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wrongs alleged herein, and that at all times referenced each was the agent and servant

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of the other Defendants and was acting within the course and scope of said agency and

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employment.

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7.

Plaintiff is informed and believes, and based thereon alleges, that at all

relevant times herein, Defendant and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, knew or
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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND EQUITABLE RELIEF

reasonably should have known of the acts and behavior alleged herein and the damages

caused thereby, and by their inaction ratified and encouraged such acts and behavior.

Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, had a non-

delegable duty to prevent or cause such acts and the behavior described herein, which

duty Defendant and DOES 1 though 10, inclusive, failed and/or refused to perform.

ALLEGATIONS COMMON TO ALL CLAIMS

A.

Hammitts Products

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Hammitt is a Los Angeles-based company that has engaged in the design,

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marketing, distribution, and sale of high-quality leather goods, including handbags,


wallets, and luggage, under the HAMMITT brand since 2003.

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9.

HAMMITT products capture the stylish, yet understated style of Los

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Angeles. Hammitt is the industry leader in locally produced handcrafted Los Angeles

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accessories. Deeply rooted in the effortless California lifestyle, Hammitts signature

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style resonates through its playful, edgy designs.

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10.

HAMMITT products are sold at more than 300 boutiques worldwide

including those located in this judicial district.

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11.

HAMMITT products are easily identified by its unique silhouettes and

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use of hardware, including Hammitts signature rivets, which appear in linear patterns

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along the sides, trimmings, and/or handles of the product (hereinafter Signature Rivet

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Trade Dress). The rivets of Hammitts Signature Rivet Trade Dress are the same size

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and each rivet is separated with the same amount of space on all goods with which said

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trade dress is utilized. Amongst Hammitts most well-known and recognized

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HAMMITT bags is the VIP Clutch. The VIP Clutch is easily identified by a

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slanted magnetic fold-over flap bearing a front zippered pocket, circular metal rivets

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that start on the top of the main pocket of the purse underneath the flap and run in a

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linear pattern along the sides down to the bottom of the bag, two large zipper

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compartments, and a cross-body strap (hereinafter VIP Trade Dress).

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///

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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND EQUITABLE RELIEF

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Authentic HAMMIT VIP Clutch


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HAMMITT products have graced the pages of major publications both

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here and abroad, including but not limited to OK!, the New York Times, People,

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InStyle, Life & Style, Womens Wear Daily, and US Weekly.


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HAMMITT products have been photographed on celebrities, reality TV

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stars and has been featured in prime time television series including 90210, Gossip

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Girl, Big Bang Theory, Entourage, The Good Wife, The Mentalist, and Two and a Half

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Men.

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Hammitts VIP Trade Dress was an original design of Hammitt and the

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key elements thereof are non-functional and serve primarily to identify Hammitt as its

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source.

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The VIP Trade Dress has continuously appeared on Hammitts products,

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which have been featured on Hammitts advertising and promotional materials as well

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as in the trade publications set forth above. Hammitt has extensively used and

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promoted the VIP Trade Dress on its products such that it is closely identified with

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HAMMITT products and has gained widespread public recognition.

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Due to its long use, extensive sales, and significant advertising and

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promotional activities, Hammitts VIP Trade Dress has achieved widespread

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acceptance and recognition among the consuming public and trade throughout the

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United States.

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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND EQUITABLE RELIEF

B.

Defendants Infringement of the VIP Trade Dress

17.

Upon information and belief, Defendant is engaged in the retail sale of a

wide range of apparel and footwear. Defendants retail stores are located nationwide,

including within this judicial district. Defendants products can also be purchased

online at www.nordstrom.com (the Nordstrom Website), which is also available to

consumers nationwide.

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The present lawsuit arises from Defendants willful infringement of

Hammitts VIP Trade Dress in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution,

and/or advertising of handbags that are not made by Hammitt or associated with the

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HAMMITT brand.
19.

Upon information and belief, Hammitt heron avers that Defendant has

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manufactured, designed, advertised, marketed, distributed, offered for sale, and/ or

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sold products bearing designs substantially indistinguishable and/or confusingly

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similar to HAMMITT products.

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20.

Hammitt recently discovered that handbags featuring a design that is

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substantially similar to the VIP Trade Dress were being offered for sale and sold by

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Defendant through its retail locations as well as the Nordstrom Website (Infringing

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Products). These Infringing Products feature design elements in the same style, form,

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and placement as the VIP Trade Dress (see below).

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Defendants Infringing Product

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21.

Given the widespread popularity and recognition of the HAMMITT line

of products and the VIP Trade Dress, Hammitt avers and hereon alleges that Defendant
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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND EQUITABLE RELIEF

had knowledge of Hammitts rights to the VIP Trade Dress and has intentionally

utilized said trade dress on its own products in an effort to pass them off as if they

originated, are associated with, are affiliated with, are sponsored by, are authorized by,

and/or are approved by Hammitt.

22.

Given the widespread popularity and recognition of the HAMMITT line

of products and the VIP Trade Dress, Hammit avers and hereon alleges that Defendant

had knowledge of Hammitts rights to the VIP Trade Dress and has intentionally

utilized said trade dress on its own products in an effort to pass them off as if they

originated, are associated with, are affiliated with, are sponsored by, are authorized by,

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and/or are approved by Hammitt.


23.

Upon information and belief, Defendant may have sold additional

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products and/or participated in additional activities that infringe upon Hammitts trade

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dresses or other intellectual property. Hammitt may seek leave to amend as additional

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information becomes available through discovery.

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Hammitt is informed and believes and hereon alleges that Defendant is a

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competitor and has copied Hammitts VIP Trade Dress in an effort to exploit

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Hammitts reputation in the market.

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Hammitt is informed and believes and hereon alleges that Defendant has

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acted in bad faith and that Defendants deceptive acts have misled and confused and

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were intended to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive as to the

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affiliation, connection, or association of Defendants Infringing Products with

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Hammitt, or as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of Defendants Infringing

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Products by Hammitt.

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FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF

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(Trade Dress Infringement 15 U.S.C. 1125)

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26.

Hammitt incorporates herein by reference the averments of the preceding

paragraphs as though fully set forth herein.


27.

Elements of Hammitts VIP Trade Dress are nonfunctional and its


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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND EQUITABLE RELIEF

inherently distinctive quality has achieved a high degree of consumer recognition and

serves to identify Hammitt as the source of the product bearing said trade dress.

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28.

The VIP Trade Dress is of such a unique and unusual quality that a

customer would immediately rely on said design to differentiate the source of goods.
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The Infringing Products produced, distributed, advertised and offered for

sale by Defendant bear nearly identical reproductions of the VIP Trade Dress, such as

to cause a likelihood of confusion between Defendants products and Hammitts

products.

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Defendants unauthorized use of Hammitts VIP Trade Dress design on

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their merchandise in interstate commerce and on advertising relating to same

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constitutes false designation of origin and a false representation that the goods and

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services are manufactured, offered, sponsored, authorized, licensed by or otherwise

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connected with Hammitt or come from the same source as Hammitts goods when, in

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fact, they do not.

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31.

Defendants use of Hammitts VIP Trade Dress design is without

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Hammitts permission or authority and in total disregard of Hammitts rights to control

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its intellectual property.

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32.

Defendants use of Hammitts VIP Trade Dress design is likely to lead to

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and result in confusion, mistake or deception, and is likely to cause the public to

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believe that Hammitt has produced, sponsored, authorized, licensed or is otherwise

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connected or affiliated with Defendants commercial and business activities, all to the

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detriment of Hammitt.

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33.

Hammitt has no adequate remedy at law. In light of the foregoing,

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Hammitt is entitled to injunctive relief prohibiting Defendant from using Hammitts

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VIP Trade Dress, or any designs confusingly similar thereto, and to recover all

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damages, including attorneys fees, that Hammitt has sustained and will sustain, and all

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gains, profits and advantages obtained by Defendant as a result of its infringing acts

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alleged above in an amount not yet known, as well as the costs of this action.

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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND EQUITABLE RELIEF

SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF

(Trade Dress Infringement Under California Common Law)

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34.

Hammitt incorporates herein by reference the averments of the preceding

paragraphs as though fully set forth herein.


35.

Defendants infringement of the VIP Trade Dress constitutes common law

trade dress infringement in violation of the common law of the state of California.
36.

Defendants unauthorized use of the VIP Trade Dress has caused and is

likely to cause confusion as to the source of Defendants products, all to the detriment

of Hammitt.

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37.

Defendants acts are willful, deliberate, and intended to confuse the public

and to injure Hammitt.


38.

Hammitt has no adequate remedy at law to compensate it fully for the

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damages that have been caused and which will continue to be caused by Defendants

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infringing conduct, unless it is enjoined by this Court.

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39.

The conduct herein complained of was extreme, outrageous, and was

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inflicted on Hammitt in reckless disregard of Hammitts rights. Said conduct was

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despicable and harmful to Hammitt and as such supports an award of exemplary and

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punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish and make an example of

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Defendant, and to deter it from similar such conduct in the future.

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40.

In light of the foregoing, Hammitt is entitled to injunctive relief

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prohibiting Defendant from infringing the VIP Trade Dress, and to recover all

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damages, including attorneys fees, that Hammitt has sustained and will sustain, and all

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gains, profits and advantages obtained by Defendant as a result of its infringing acts

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alleged above in an amount not yet known, and the costs of this action.

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THIRD CLAIM FOR RELIEF

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(Unfair Competition California Unfair Business Practices Act, Cal. Bus. & Prof.

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Code, 17200, et. seq.)

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41.

Hammitt incorporates herein by reference the averments of the preceding


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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND EQUITABLE RELIEF

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paragraphs as though fully set forth herein.


42.

Defendants appropriation, adoption and use of the VIP Trade Dress is

likely to confuse or mislead consumers into believing that Defendants goods are

authorized, licensed, affiliated, sponsored, and/or approved by Hammitt, thus

constituting a violation of the California Unfair Business Practices Act, Cal. Bus. &

Prof. Code, 17200, et. seq.

43.

The deceptive, unfair and fraudulent practices set forth herein have been

undertaken with knowledge by Defendant willfully with the intention of causing harm

to Hammitt and for the calculated purpose of misappropriating Hammitts goodwill

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and business reputation.


44.

Defendants use of Hammitts VIP Trade Dress has deprived Hammitt of

the right to control the use of its intellectual property.


45.

As a direct and proximate result of Defendants unlawful infringement,

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Hammitt has suffered damages and will continue to suffer damages in an amount that

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is not presently ascertainable but will be proven at trial. Hammitt is entitled to all

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available relief provided for in California Unfair Business Practices Act, Cal. Bus. &

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Prof. Code, 17200, et. seq. including permanent injunctive relief.

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46.

Defendant committed the acts alleged herein intentionally, fraudulently,

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maliciously, willfully, wantonly and oppressively, with intent to injure Hammitt in its

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business and with conscious disregard for Hammitts rights, thereby justifying awards

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of punitive and exemplary damages in amounts sufficient to punish and to set an

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example for others.

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FOURTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF

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(Unfair Competition Under California Common Law)

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47.

Hammitt incorporates herein by reference the averments of the preceding

paragraphs as though fully set forth herein.


48.

Defendants infringement of the VIP Trade Dress constitutes unfair

competition in violation of the common law of the state of California.


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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND EQUITABLE RELIEF

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49.

Defendant is a competitor of Hammitt and has copied Hammitts handbag

design in an effort to exploit Hammitts reputation in the market.


50.

Defendants infringing acts were intended to capitalize on Hammitts

goodwill associated therewith for Defendants own pecuniary gain. Hammitt has

expended substantial time, resources and effort to obtain an excellent reputation for the

HAMMIT brand. As a result of Hammitts efforts, Defendant is now unjustly

enriched and is benefiting from property rights that rightfully belong to Hammitt.

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51.

Defendants acts are willful, deliberate, and intended to confuse the public

and to injure Hammitt.


52.

Hammitt has no adequate remedy at law to compensate it fully for the

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damages that have been caused and which will continue to be caused by Defendants

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infringing conduct, unless it is enjoined by this Court.

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53.

The conduct herein complained of was extreme, outrageous, and was

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inflicted on Hammitt in reckless disregard of Hammitts rights. Said conduct was

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despicable and harmful to Hammitt and as such supports an award of exemplary and

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punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish and make an example of

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Defendant, and to deter it from similar such conduct in the future.

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54.

In light of the foregoing, Hammitt is entitled to injunctive relief

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prohibiting Defendant from infringing the VIP Trade Dress and to recover all damages,

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including attorneys fees, that Hammitt has sustained and will sustain, and all gains,

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profits and advantages obtained by Defendant as a result of its infringing acts alleged

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above in an amount not yet known, and the costs of this action.

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PRAYER FOR RELIEF


WHEREFORE, Plaintiff Hammitt, Inc. respectfully prays for judgment against
Defendant Nordstrom, Inc., as follows:
1.

A Judgment that Defendant has infringed Hammitts VIP Trade Dress and

and that said infringement was willful;

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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND EQUITABLE RELIEF

2.

An order granting temporary, preliminary and permanent injunctive relief

restraining and enjoining Defendant, its agents, servants, employees, officers,

associates, attorneys, and all persons acting by, through, or in concert with any of them

from using Hammitts intellectual property, including, but not limited to:

a.

manufacturing, importing, advertising, marketing, promoting,

supplying, distributing, offering for sale, or selling the Infringing Products or any other

products which bear Hammitts VIP Trade Dress and/or any designs confusingly

similar thereto;

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engaging in any other activity constituting unfair competition with

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Hammitt, or acts and practices that deceive consumers, the public, and/or trade,

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including without limitation, the use of designations and design elements used or

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owned by or associated with Hammitt; and

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c.

committing any other act which falsely represents or which has the

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effect of falsely representing that the goods and services of Defendant are licensed by,

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authorized by, offered by, produced by, sponsored by, or in any other way associated

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with Hammitt;

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3.

Ordering Defendant to recall from any distributors and retailers and to

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deliver to Hammitt for destruction or other disposition all remaining inventory of all

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Infringing Products and related items, including all advertisements, promotional and

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marketing materials therefore, as well as means of making same;

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Ordering Defendant to file with this Court and serve on Hammitt within

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thirty (30) days after entry of the injunction a report in writing, under oath setting forth

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in detail the manner and form in which Defendant has complied with the injunction;

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5.

Ordering an accounting by Defendant of all gains, profits and advantages

derived from its wrongful acts pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1117(a);


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Awarding Hammitt all of Defendants profits and all damages sustained

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by Hammitt as a result of Defendants wrongful acts, and such other compensatory

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damages as the Court determines to be fair and appropriate;

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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND EQUITABLE RELIEF

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7.

Awarding treble damages in the amount of Defendants profits or

Hammitts damages, whichever is greater, for willful infringement;

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Awarding applicable interest, costs, disbursements and attorneys fees;

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Awarding Hammitt punitive damages in connection with its claims under

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California law; and


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Such other relief as may be just and proper.

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Dated: June 30, 2016

BLAKELY LAW GROUP

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By:

__________________
Brent H. Blakely
Cindy Chan
Jessica C. Covington
Attorneys for Plaintiff Hammitt, Inc.

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DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL


Pursuant to Rule 38(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiff
Hammitt, Inc. hereby demands a trial by jury as to all claims in this litigation.

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Dated: June 30, 2016

BLAKELY LAW GROUP

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By:

__________________
Brent H. Blakely
Cindy Chan
Jessica C. Covington
Attorneys for Plaintiff Hammitt, Inc.

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COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES AND EQUITABLE RELIEF