SOURCE: Mayback & Hoffman, P.A.

February 04, 2014 10:16 ET

Court Orders Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse, Home Shopping Network to Stop Using "SOLINGEN" Certification Mark

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL--(Marketwired - February 04, 2014) - Attorneys with Mayback & Hoffman and Devine Goodman, et al. announced that a Tampa federal judge has issued a permanent injunction prohibiting Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse, and their respective companies; the Home Shopping Network; and SED International Holdings Inc. from using the "SOLINGEN" certification mark.

Catherine Hoffman, who represents the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Wuppertal-Solingen-Remschied, a German trade association, filed suit in September 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida alleging counterfeiting, trademark infringement, unfair competition and false advertising under Federal law and unfair competition under Florida law. The case was transferred to the Middle District of Florida.

The German trade association owns the SOLINGEN certification mark. Products displaying the SOLINGEN certification mark must be produced in Solingen, Germany, and meet specific requirements set forth in German law under the "Solingen Decree." 

The knives, sold by Stewart and Lagasse on the Home Shopping Network, as well as online, were emblazoned with "SOLINGEN" on one side, but had "China" stamped on the other. The knives were made in China.

As part of the permanent injunction and a settlement agreement, the defendants admitted that the trademark is valid and enforceable and agreed to pay the German trade association an undisclosed sum.

"This is a huge victory for our client," said Catherine Hoffman a founding partner of Mayback & Hoffman. "Our client's certification mark identifies only the highest quality products made in Solingen, Germany, and we will do whatever it takes to protect that reputation, which includes Solingen's world-famous reputation as the 'Cutlery Capital.' We hope this settlement sends a strong message to anyone attempting to profit from improperly certifying products with the SOLINGEN mark."

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. (MSLO), Stewart's company, owns Lagasse's product line, which was being sold on the Home Shopping Network.

Mayback & Hoffman, P.A., is a full-service, AV rated Intellectual Property law firm. Its attorneys counsel clients on issues relating to patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. The firm represents clients from around the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, and South Africa. In the United States, the firm represents multi-national corporations, businesses and individuals in Florida and elsewhere. Catherine Hoffman, Gregory Mayback, and Julie Dahlgard represent the German trade association in this case and other matters.

Devine, Goodman, Rasco, Watts-Fitzgerald & Wells, P.A., is a Florida-based litigation and transactional business boutique. Devine Goodman attorneys frequently litigate complex business disputes in a wide variety of matters, including contract disputes, fraud and civil RICO claims, real estate litigation, "corporate divorces" involving dissolution of closely-held entities, and aviation cases. Additionally, Devine Goodman has litigated many complex business cases and has been class counsel in nationwide and state certified class actions. Devine Goodman partners Guy Rasco and Lawrence Goodman worked together with Mayback & Hoffman lawyers to litigate and bring the case to a successful resolution.

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