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Luv'n Care, Ltd. v. Regent Baby Prods. Corp.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

December 11, 2013

LUV N' CARE, LTD. and ADMAR INTERNATIONAL, INC., Plaintiffs,
v.
REGENT BABY PRODUCTS CORP. d/b/a/ BABY KING, Defendant

Order Filed: January 23, 2014

Page 401

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 402

For Plaintiffs: Lee A. Goldberg, Esq., Morris E. Cohen, Esq., Goldberg Cohen, LLP, New York, New York.

For Defendant: James J. Foster, Esq., Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, P.C., Boston, Massachusetts; John T. Johnson, Esq., David Tadahiko Yaegashi, Esq., John Stephen Goetz, Esq., Kristen A. McCallion, Esq., Fish & Richardson P.C., New York, New York.

OPINION

Page 403

OPINION AND ORDER

Shira A. Scheindlin, U.S.D.J.

I. INTRODUCTION

Luv n' Care, Ltd. and Admar International, Inc. (collectively, " LNC" ) bring this infringement action against Regent Baby Products Corp. d/b/a Baby King (" Regent" ). LNC sells sippy cups and other products for children in the United States and internationally under the NUBY brand name, or through private labels including Precious Moments and Parent's Choice.[1] Admar International, Inc. owns the interest in LNC's trademarks and trade dress.[2] Regent is also a baby products company and sells its products under the Baby King brand name, or through private labels including Fisher Price and Sesame Beginnings.[3]

LNC alleges that Regent has infringed its no-spill drinking cup design patent and corresponding trade dress.[4] LNC also alleges

Page 404

unfair competition and tortious interference with prospective business relations under New York state law. Regent now moves for partial summary judgment on LNC's trade dress infringement and tortious interference claims. For the reasons set forth below, Regent's motion for partial summary judgment is granted.

II. BACKGROUND

Regent's motion for summary judgment on trade dress infringement is limited to LNC's claims as to the flip-top cap and the hard spout cup and cap combination.[5] " LNC has been selling its hard top design for approximately fifteen years, and its flip-top design for . . . over fourteen years." [6] Since that time, " LNC has sold more than $21 million of its flip-top products . . . in the United States, and more than $58 million of its hard top products in the United States." [7] LNC claims that numerous products manufactured by Regent and sold under both its brand name and private labels infringe upon its protected trade dress.[8]

LNC also alleges that Regent's sale of allegedly infringing no-spill cups has tortiously interfered with its prospective business relations.[9] Primarily, LNC claims that Regent has " acted to induce [LNC's] customers including, but not limited to, Dollar General Corporation, to purchase the [infringing] no-spill cups . . . instead of [LNC's] authorized, legitimate no-spill cups . . . with the sole purpose of harming [LNC]" or by using " dishonest, unfair or improper means to cause harm and injury to [LNC]." [10]

III. LEGAL STANDARD ON A MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Summary judgment is appropriate " only where, construing all the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-movant and drawing all reasonable inferences in that party's favor, there is 'no genuine issue as to any material fact and . . . the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.'" [11] " A fact is material if it might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law, and an issue of fact is genuine if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." [12]

" [T]he moving party has the burden of showing that no genuine issue of material fact exists and that the undisputed facts entitle him to judgment as a matter of law." [13] " When the burden of proof at trial would fall on the non-moving party, it ordinarily

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is sufficient for the movant to point to a lack of evidence to go to the trier of fact on an essential element of the non[-]movant's claim." [14] The burden then " shifts to the non[-]moving party to present specific evidence showing a genuine dispute." [15] This requires " 'more than simply show[ing] that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts,'" [16] and the non-moving party cannot " ...


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