Estée Lauder Sues Knock-off Manufacturer

Estée Lauder Cos Inc. filed a federal lawsuit against CVS Caremark Corp., Family Dollar Stores Inc. and a Preffered Fragrance Inc., claiming the stores have sold knock-offs of its brands. The suit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan accused CVS and Family Dollar of offering imitation products, made by Preferred Fragrance Inc., that used their actual registered trademarks or similar names.

Estée Lauder and its Clinique Laboratories specifically mentioned titles like “Impression of Happy by Clinique” and “Impression of Beautiful by Estée Lauder.” The suit accused the stores and perfume maker of trademark infringement, false advertising, diluting their trademarks and unfair competition.

It is seeking an injunction preventing the defendants from buying or selling the products, and damages of up to US$1 million for each type of knock-off. Preferred Fragrance was also sued by Elizabeth Arden Inc. in a similar 2005 lawsuit in Ohio federal court. Elizabeth Arden later dropped the suit.

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