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Marcel Fashions, GET LUCKY Win Trademark Infringement Verdict, Including Punitive Damages, Against Liz Claiborne, Lucky Brand

Friday, April 23, 2010

New York, NY -- The law firm of McKool Smith today announced a $300,000 verdict in favor of Miami-based Marcel Fashion Group Inc. and the GET LUCKY line of apparel following a federal trademark infringement trial against New York-based Liz Claiborne Inc. (NYSE: LIZ) and its subsidiary, Los Angeles-based Lucky Brand Dungarees Inc. The case was decided by a jury before Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

In their verdict, which followed five days of trial, jurors found that Liz Claiborne and Lucky Brand sold garments that infringed the “GET LUCKY” trademark owned by Marcel Fashion. The jury also found that the companies’ infringement amounted to unfair competition under federal law. The jury awarded punitive damages of $280,000.

Ezra Mizrachi, President of Marcel Fashion Group, owner of the GET LUCKY trademark since its first use in 1985, says “After 12 years of successfully defending our rights against Lucky Brand, we are now free to pursue a master licensing program for the GET LUCKY trademark.”

Mr. Mizrachi adds “We were delighted to be so well-represented at trial by McKool Smith and lead trial lawyer Ann Schofield Baker.”

Ms. Schofield Baker, head of McKool Smith’s national trademark litigation practice, says “The award of punitive damages in a trademark case is highly unusual and reflects the egregious and reprehensible nature of the plaintiffs’ behavior.”

Lucky Brand originally sued Marcel Fashion and its licensee Ally Apparel for trademark infringement in 2005, but evidence showed that Marcel Fashion had registered and used the trademark “GET LUCKY” years before Lucky Brand was even formed. Last year, the Court sanctioned Lucky Brand for its repeated discovery violations and awarded partial summary judgment on some of Marcel’s trademark counterclaims and breach of a 2003 settlement agreement with Marcel Fashion. Today’s decision follows counterclaims filed by Marcel Fashion against Liz Claiborne and Lucky Brand related to the unapproved use of the “GET LUCKY” trademark.

In addition to Ms. Schofield Baker, who led the legal team, Marcel Fashion and GET LUCKY also were represented by McKool Smith associate Katherine Thornburgh.

The case is Lucky Brand Dungarees Inc., et al. v. Ally Apparel Resources LLC, et al., No. 1:05-cv-06757.

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