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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"
Edmund Burke


From Scarves By Vera, Inc. v. American Handbags, Inc., 188 F. Supp. 255 - US: Dist. Court, SD New York 1960

The question is thus whether an ordinary, intelligent purchaser, upon seeing the handbag, would be misled into the belief that plaintiff was in some way connected with its manufacture.

Defendant claims that the tag, which was attached to all handbags using plaintiff's towels, informed the public that plaintiff was not connected with its manufacture. However, I find the notice printed on the tag misleading. I find that the average purchaser would be misled into believing that plaintiff and defendant were in some manner associated in the joint enterprise of manufacturing the handbags in question. This finding is supported by the fact that plaintiff has received requests from department store buyers to conduct joint promotions on their scarves and defendant's handbags. Moreover, the tag which defendant has used as a substitute for plaintiff's copyright notice does not meet the statutory requirement of 17 U.S.C. 19. Scarves by Vera, Inc. v. United Merchants & Mfrs., Inc., D.C.S.D.N.Y.1959, 173 F.Supp. 625; Trifari, Krussman & Fishel, Inc. v. B. Steinberg-Kaslo Co., D. C.S.D.N.Y.1956, 144 F.Supp. 577.

However, the defendant is still entitled to inform consumers by use of plaintiff's name and trademark that the towel of which the handbag is made is the product of Scarves by Vera. The result is, of course, that defendant will get some advantage from the trademark. This, however, is wholly permissible so long as plaintiff is not identified with the manufacture of the handbag. All plaintiff is entitled to is full disclosure. Champion Spark Plug Co. v. Sanders, 1941, 331 U.S. 125, 130, 67 S.Ct. 1136, 91 L.Ed. 1386.

Thus, an injunction will issue enjoining defendant from selling handbags made from plaintiff's towel unless there is sewn on the inside of the handbag near the clasp, and plainly visible to anyone opening the handbag, a label which states that

    "The design on the cover of this handbag is the copyrighted design of Scarves by Vera, Inc. which is in no way connected with American Handbags, Inc., manufacturer of this handbag."
Moreover, the letters are all to be of the same size and legibly readable except that defendant's name can be in slightly larger type than the rest of the body of the legend.

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