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Coach, Inc. v. 3D Designers Inspirations

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Rock Island Division

September 29, 2014

COACH, INC., and COACH SERVICES, INC., Plaintiffs,
v.
3D DESIGNERS INSPIRATIONS, DOES 1 Through 100, and MAZHAR NADEEM, d/b/a 3D Designers Inspirations, Defendants

Page 943

For Coach, Inc., Coach Services, Inc., Plaintiffs: Amy Elizabeth Breihan, LEAD ATTORNEY, BRYAN CAVE LLP, St Louis, MO; Mariangela M Seale, Steven Patrick McKey, BRYAN CAVE LLP, Chicago, IL.

Mazhar Nadeem, doing business as 3D Designers Inspirations, Defendant, Pro se, Moline, IL.

Page 944

ORDER

SARA DARROW, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Plaintiffs Coach, Inc., and Coach Services, Inc., (collectively " Coach" ) allege that Defendants 3D Designers Inspirations and its principal, Mazhar Nadeem (collectively " 3D" ), sold goods bearing counterfeit Coach trademarks.[1] Default has been entered against 3D, and Coach now moves for a default judgment awarding it injunctive relief and statutory damages pursuant to the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § § 1116-17. For the following reasons, Plaintiff Coach's Motion for Default Judgment, ECF No. 43, is GRANTED.

BACKGROUND[2]

I. Facts

Coach manufacturers and sells leather and mixed material products such as handbags, wallets, accessories, eyewear, footwear, jewelry, and watches. Coach owns several United States Federal Trademark Registrations, trademarks that are so widely recognized as to qualify as " famous marks" under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c)(1). Mazhar Nadeem operates 3D, which sells accessories such as purses, wallets, and satchels out of its store in South Park Mall in Moline, Illinois.

On or about August 12, 2011, an investigator hired by Coach entered the 3D location in South Park Mall. The investigator noted that 3D had approximately 10 to 15 products depicting Coach trademarks, including purses, wallets, and satchels, on display in a locked glass cabinet along with other trademarked items. The investigator purchased, for $39.99 and $29.99, respectively: (1) a blue satchel-type purse bearing at least two different registered Coach trademarks; and (2) a multi-colored wallet bearing at least three different registered Coach trademarks. Dayanara Perez, Coach's Intellectual Property Coordinator, examined images of these items on August 25, 2011, and determined that the items appeared to be counterfeit for several reasons including: 3D Designers is not an authorized Coach retailer; Coach did not manufacture those items in those particular design patterns and colors; the satchel's lining differed from the type Coach uses; the Coach trademarks are incorrect or inconsistent with those found on authentic merchandise; the quality and craftsmanship fell below Coach's standards; and Coach's suggested retail price for such a satchel and wallet are $128.00 and $198.00, respectively. Perez Aff., ECF No. 43-2.

Coach has not licensed or authorized 3D to use Coach trademarks, whose fame, strength, and associated good will 3D is aware of. Coach maintains that 3D counterfeited and infringed on its trademarks " negligently and/or knowingly and intentionally, with reckless disregard or willful blindness to Coach's rights, or with bad faith" in order to profit from the reputation of Coach products. Further, Coach claims, consumers are likely to be deceived into believing there is a connection between 3D's products and Coach. Finally, Coach believes 3D plans to continue to sell the trademark infringing products.

Page 945

II. Procedural History

On October 11, 2011, Coach filed an eleven-count complaint against 3D alleging trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, trademark dilution and counterfeiting under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § § 1114, 1116, 1117, 1125(a), (c); direct and contributory copyright infringement under the United States Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 501; trademark infringement, unfair competition and unjust enrichment under Illinois common law; trademark dilution under Illinois common law and the Illinois Trademark Registration and Protection Act, 765 ILCS 1036/65; and unfair competition under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, 815 ILCS 505. On December 22, 2012, 3D filed an answer.

On July 5, 2013, 3D's attorney, Steven Balk, filed a motion to withdraw, claiming he had lost contact with 3D, making further representation impossible. Defs.' Mot. Withdraw as Att'y, ECF No. 17. On July 23, 2012, Balk withdrew his motion on the grounds that 3D had re-established communication. Defs.' Mot. Withdraw Mot. 19, ECF No. 19. On October 12, 2012, the Court granted a motion to compel production by Coach, noting that Coach had served 3D with written discovery requests and a request for admission in May 2012, and 3D failed to respond by both the original deadline as well as a second, extended deadline the Court granted. Oct. 12, 2012 Order 1-2, ECF No. 23. The Court awarded Coach attorney's fees for the motion, held that all facts in Coach's Requests for Admission would be deemed admitted by 3D for the purposes of this litigation, and ordered 3D to respond to Coach's other discovery requests by October 22, 2012. Id. at 2. In its Requests for Admission, Coach had requested that 3D admit to selling products bearing counterfeit Coach trademarks, specifically the purchased satchel and wallet, despite knowing that they were inauthentic and that such activity was therefore unlawful. Pls.' Mot. Default J., Ex. 1, ECF No. 43-1.

On October 12, 2012, Balk again moved to withdraw, claiming he had again lost contact with his clients. 2d Mot. Withdraw as Att'y, ECF No. 24. The Court scheduled a hearing on this motion, as well as the Court's own motion to find 3D in default, for November 21, 2012. At that hearing, Coach said the parties had reached a settlement and Balk withdrew his motion to withdraw. The parties filed a stipulation of dismissal on December 20, 2012. However, Coach moved to reinstate the action or enforce the settlement agreement on January 4, 2013, claiming that 3D had failed to pay the first of six installments due under the settlement agreement, and that Balk failed to respond to Coach's efforts to discuss the matter. At a March 6, 2013 hearing, the Court granted Coach's request to reinstate its suit, granted Balk's third request to withdraw as attorney, and gave 3D thirty days to obtain new counsel or continue pro se. At an April 8, 2013, the Court denied 3D's request for more time to obtain counsel and ordered the parties ...


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