People v. Levy

People v. Levy
http://www.nycourts.gov/ctapps/decisions/2010/nov10/191opn10.pdf (Can’t find it on Lexis or Westlaw)

Date: December 02, 2010 (http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ny-court-of-appeals/1546599.html)

Facts: Levy owns Black & Yellow Major Auto part that has counterfeit Ford goods. Ford filed trademark infringement on Levy arising from the sale of counterfeit goods. The products contained a Ford product number and in other case it contain the Ford trademark. Levy alleged that the products were not “counterfeit” because it were not covered by the trademark registration certificate introduced in evidence. He means that the goods seized from his warehouse – a hub cap cover bearing the “Lincoln Star,” for example – were not protected by a mark that was in use and registered and which identified a good. Since Ford mark doesn’t cover hub caps, Levy could put the Lincoln Star on hubcaps

Procedual posture: Jury convicted Levy and the courts of appeals confirmed.

Holding: affirmed.

Important Dicta: The court ruled that the consumer relies on the mark itself and is not in a position to know or determine the precise product for which the mark is registered. The mark will deceive a consumer because the mark “identifies” the product as a genuine Ford part when it is not. The average purchaser expects any automotive parts bearing the “ford oval to be genuine even if ford never palced or intended to place that mark on that particular good.
Analysis: This just reestablishes trademark law. Trademark is suppose to protect the consumer so they do not get conceived about where the product is from. By arguing that you can put a trademark on items where the item is not from, that would destroy the whole point of trade mark and injury both the general public and the manufacturer.

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