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Case 2:15-cv-05453 Document 1 Filed 07/17/15 Page 1 of 22 Page ID #:1

JEFFER MANGELS BUTLER & MITCHELL LLP


ROD S. BERMAN (Bar No. 105444), rberman@jmbm.com
JESSICA BROMALL SPARKMAN (Bar No. 235017), jzb@jmbm.com
1900 Avenue of the Stars, Seventh Floor
Los Angeles, California 90067-4308
Telephone: (310) 203-8080
Facsimile: (310) 203-0567

Attorneys for Plaintiff CHRISS STUFF, INC.

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

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WESTERN DIVISION

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CHRISS STUFF, INC., a California


corporation,

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CASE NO.
COMPLAINT FOR:

Plaintiff,

(1) COPYRIGHT
INFRINGEMENT;

v.
NAPA VALLEY WINE TRAIN, INC., a
California corporation; NORTH BAY
SPORTSWEAR, an unknown business
entity; WINE VALLEY APPAREL, an
unknown business entity; CHERYL
STOTLER, an individual; PAUL
NEWMAN, an individual; and DOES 1
through 10, inclusive.
Defendants.

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(2) TRADEMARK
INFRINGEMENT;
(3) FALSE DESIGNATION
(LANHAM ACT 43(A));
(4) COMMON LAW
TRADEMARK
INFRINGEMENT;
(5) UNFAIR COMPETITION
(CALIFORNIA BUSINESS &
PROFESSIONS CODE
17200);
(6) DECLARATORY RELIEF

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DEMAND FOR TRIAL BY JURY

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For its complaint, plaintiff Chriss Stuff, Inc. (Plaintiff or CSI) alleges as
follows:

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THE PARTIES
1.

Plaintiff is a California corporation with its principal place of business in

Los Angeles, California. Plaintiffs goods are sold on its own Web site,

www.chrisstuff.com, and at wineries and other outlets throughout California.

2.

Defendant Napa Valley Wine Train, Inc. (NVWT) is a California

corporation, with a business address of 1275 McKinstry Street, Napa, California

94559. Plaintiff is informed, and believes, and based thereon alleges that, at all times

relevant to this action, NVWT has had continuous and systematic contacts with the

state of California and this judicial district, including but not limited to sales of the

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infringing product at issue here.

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3.

Defendant North Bay Sportswear (NBS) is an unknown business

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entity, with a business address of 50 Executive Court, Suite A, Napa, California

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94558. Plaintiff is informed, and believes, and based thereon alleges that, at all times

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relevant to this action, NBS has had continuous and systematic contacts with the state

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of California and this judicial district, including but not limited to sales of the

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infringing product at issue here.

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4.

Defendant Wine Valley Apparel (WVA) is an unknown business

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entity, with a business address of 50 Executive Court, Suite A, Napa, California

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94558. Plaintiff is informed, and believes, and based thereon alleges that, at all times

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relevant to this action, WVA has had continuous and systematic contacts with the

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state of California and this judicial district, including but not limited to sales of the

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infringing product at issue here.

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5.

Defendant Cheryl Stotler (Stotler) is an individual who, on

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information and believe, resides in Napa, California. Plaintiff is informed, and

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believes, and based thereon alleges that, at all times relevant to this action, Stotler has

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had continuous and systematic contacts with the state of California and this judicial

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district, including but not limited to sales of the infringing product at issue here.

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6.

Defendant Paul Newman (Newman) is an individual who, on

information and believe, resides in Napa, California. Plaintiff is informed, and

believes, and based thereon alleges that, at all times relevant to this action, Newman

has had continuous and systematic contacts with the state of California and this

judicial district, including but not limited to sales of the infringing product at issue

here.

7.

Plaintiff is unaware of the true names and capacities, whether individual,

corporate, associate, or otherwise, of defendants Does 1 through 10, inclusive, or any

of them, and therefore sues these defendants, and each of them, by such fictitious

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names. Plaintiff will seek leave of Court to amend this Complaint when the identity

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of one or more of these defendants is ascertained. Does 1 through 10, inclusive,

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NVWT, NBS, WVA, Stotler, and Newman are referred to herein collectively as

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Defendants, and individually as a Defendant.

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8.

Plaintiff is informed and believe, and on that basis alleges, that each

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Defendant conspired and acted in concert with each other to commit the wrongs

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against Plaintiff alleged herein, and in doing so were at all relevant times the agents,

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servants, employees, principals, joint venturers, alter egos, and/or partners of each

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other. Plaintiff is further informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that in

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doing the things alleged in this Complaint, each Defendant was acting within the

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scope of authority conferred upon that Defendant by the consent, approval, and/or

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ratification of the other Defendants, whether said authority was actual or apparent.

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JURISDICTION AND VENUE


9.

This action arises under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq., and

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Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1125. Accordingly, this Court has

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original jurisdiction over the Copyright Act and Lanham Act claims in this action

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pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1121, 1331, and 1338. The state law claims in this action

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arise from the same common nucleus of operative facts and transactions, such that

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they form part of the same case or controversy and a plaintiff would ordinarily be

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expected to try them all in a single judicial proceeding. Accordingly, this Court may

exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C.

1367.

10.

A substantial part of the events and/or omissions giving rise to the

claims against Defendant, and the damages resulting therefrom, occurred in this

judicial district. Therefore, venue is proper and assignment of this case to the Central

District of California is appropriate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1391(b) and (c).

GENERAL ALLEGATIONS

Plaintiffs Rights

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Plaintiff is a designer and seller of wine-themed apparel and other

merchandise.
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Plaintiff owns copyright registrations VA 1-811-359, for its work titled

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Rhinestone Wine Glass Design, and VA 1-811-368, for its work titled Wine Glass

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Design, shown below. True and correct copies of these registrations are attached as

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Exhibits A and B, respectively.

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13.

Plaintiff owns copyright registration VA 1-914-023 for its work titled

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Will Work for Shoes & Wine, shown below. A true and correct copy of this

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registration is attached as Exhibit C.

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14.

Plaintiff owns a copyright for its work titled Grandmas Sippy Cup,

shown below. An application for copyright registration has been filed with the

Copyright Office.

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Plaintiff owns a copyright for its work titled Wine Flag Design, shown

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below. An application for copyright registration has been filed with the Copyright

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Office.

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16.

Plaintiffs designs identified and shown in the preceding paragraphs

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Rhinestone Wine Glass Design, Wine Glass Design, Will Work for Shoes &

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Wine, Grandmas Sippy Cup, and Wine Flag Design, are collectively referred to

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herein as the Protected Designs.

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17.

Plaintiff also owns the trademark GROUP THERAPY (Plaintiffs

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Mark), which is the subject of federal Trademark Registration No. 3,375,155, for

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clothing, namely, tops, T-shirts, caps, aprons, and ties, in Class 25. Plaintiffs

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products bearing Plaintiffs Mark have achieved a reputation for quality and style,

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and consumers have come to associate Plaintiffs Mark uniquely with Plaintiff, and

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recognize it as identifying Plaintiff as the source, sponsor, or is affiliated with, the

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products bearing the mark.

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Defendants Infringing Conduct

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Like Plaintiff, Defendants are also in the business of selling wine-

themed apparel and merchandise.

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Defendant Stotler runs the retail sales division of Defendant NVWT.

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NVWT has been a customer of Plaintiff, and has purchased from

Plaintiff various items to sell in the NVWT retail store, including items bearing

Plaintiffs Protected Designs, and items bearing Plaintiffs Mark.

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division of NBS.

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On information and belief, Newman is the owner of NBS, and WVA is a

On information and belief, NVWT also obtained items for its retail store

through NBS, WVA, and Newman.


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On information and belief, Stotler asked Newman, NBS, and WVA to

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manufacture, and Newman, NBS, and WVA manufactured or caused to be

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manufactured, apparel bearing the Protected Designs, and Plaintiffs Mark (the

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Infringing Apparel).

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24.

On information and belief, Stotler and NVWT purchased Infringing

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Apparel from Newman, NBS, and WVA, displayed the Infringing Apparel, and

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offered it for sale.

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25.

Newman, NBS, and WVA displayed the Infringing Apparel and offered

for sale, and continue to display the Infringing Apparel, and offer for sale.
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On or about May 20, 2015, Plaintiff sent a demand letter to Newman,

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NBS, and WVA, demanding that they cease all sales of the Infringing Apparel, and

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disclose information about their sales. To date, they have not agreed to Plaintiffs

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demands, nor have they disclosed the requested information, and Infringing Apparel

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remains available on the WVA website.

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27.

On or about June 30, 2015, Plaintiff sent a demand letter to Stotler and

NVWT demanding that they cease all sales of the Infringing Apparel, and disclose

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information about their sales. To date, they have not agreed to Plaintiffs demands,

nor have they disclosed the requested information.

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Plaintiff brings this action to end Defendants violations of Plaintiffs

rights and to seek recovery of damages.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION

Copyright Infringement 17 U.S.C. 501

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Plaintiff incorporates by reference the preceding paragraphs of this

Complaint as if set forth herein.


30.

Plaintiff is the owner of valid copyrights to the Protected Designs, and

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each of them. Plaintiff owns, or has applied for, a copyright registration for each of

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the Protected Designs.

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31.

The Protected Designs have been widely disseminated, and Defendants

had access to them.


32.

Defendants manufactured, displayed, and/or sold apparel bearing copies

of the Protected Designs, which are substantially similar to the Protected Designs.
33.

Defendants actions violate Plaintiffs exclusive rights under 17 U.S.C.

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106, including but not limited to Plaintiffs rights to reproduce, distribute, or sell the

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Protected Designs and the right to prepare derivative works, and therefore constitute

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copyright infringement pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 501.

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34.

Defendants are also liable for vicarious and contributory copyright

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infringement, in that, with knowledge of a third partys infringing conduct, they

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induced, caused, and/or materially contributed to that partys infringing conduct.

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35.

Defendants actions constitute willful infringement.

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As a direct and proximate result of Defendants infringement of

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Plaintiffs copyrights, Plaintiff has suffered, and continues to suffer, damages to its

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profits, sales, and business. Plaintiff has sustained, and will continue to sustain, great

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and irreparable injury in that it will lose customers and good will. Plaintiff has no

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adequate remedy at law for these injuries. Unless Defendants are restrained from

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making such false representations in the future, Plaintiff will be compelled to bring a

multiplicity of suits to protect its interests.

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In addition to recovery of compensatory damages, Plaintiff also seeks

recovery of statutory damages of $150,000 per work as well as its attorneys fees and

costs pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 504.

SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION

Trademark Infringement 15 U.S.C. 1114

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Plaintiff incorporates by reference the preceding paragraphs of this

Complaint as if set forth herein.


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Defendants, through the acts and omissions described above, have used

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in commerce a reproduction or copy of Plaintiffs federally registered GROUP

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THERAPY mark in connection with the sale of goods, without Plaintiffs consent.

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Defendants use of Plaintiffs registered mark is likely to cause

confusion, mistake, or deceive consumers.


Defendants actions constitute trademark infringement pursuant to 15

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41.

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U.S.C. 1114.

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42.

Defendants are also liable for contributory trademark infringement, in

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that, with knowledge of a third partys infringing conduct, they induced, caused,

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and/or materially contributed to the infringing conduct.

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43.

Defendants actions are willful, malicious, fraudulent, deliberate, and

intended to confuse the public.


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Plaintiff has suffered, and continues to suffer, damages to its profits,

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sales, and business as a result of Defendants acts of infringement. Plaintiff has

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sustained, and will continue to sustain, great and irreparable injury in that it will lose

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customers and good will. Plaintiff has no adequate remedy at law for these injuries.

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Unless Defendants are restrained from making such false representations in the

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future, Plaintiff will be compelled to bring a multiplicity of suits to protect its

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interests.

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45.

In addition to recovery of compensatory damages, Plaintiff also seeks

treble damages, recovery of statutory damages of $2,000,000 as well as its attorneys

fees and costs pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1117(a), (b) and (c).

THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION

False Designation of Origin 15 U.S.C. 1125(a)

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46.

Plaintiff incorporates by reference the preceding paragraphs of this

Complaint as if set forth herein.


47.

Defendants, through the acts and omissions described above, have used

in commerce words, terms, names, symbols, and devices which are confusingly

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similar to those of Plaintiff, in a manner that is likely to cause confusion or mistake or

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to deceive consumers as to the affiliation, connection, or association of Defendants

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with Plaintiff, and/or as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of Defendants goods,

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in violation of 15 U.S.C. 1125(a).

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Defendants are also liable for contributory trademark infringement, in

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that, with knowledge of a third partys infringing conduct, they induced, caused,

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and/or materially contributed to the infringing conduct.

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49.

Defendants actions are willful, malicious, fraudulent, deliberate, and

intended to confuse the public.


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Plaintiff has suffered, and continues to suffer, damages to its profits,

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sales, and business as a result of Defendants acts of infringement. Plaintiff has

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sustained, and will continue to sustain, great and irreparable injury in that it will lose

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customers and good will. Plaintiff has no adequate remedy at law for these injuries.

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Unless Defendants are restrained from making such false representations in the

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future, Plaintiff will be compelled to bring a multiplicity of suits to protect its

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interests.

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51.

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In addition to recovery of compensatory damages, Plaintiff also seeks

recovery of its attorneys fees and costs pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1117.

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FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION

Common Law Trademark Infringement

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52.

Plaintiff incorporates by reference the preceding paragraphs of this

Complaint as if set forth herein.


53.

The acts and omissions of Defendants, as set forth above, constitute

common law trademark infringement.


54.

Defendants use of Plaintiffs mark and trade dress are likely to cause

confusion, cause mistake, and/or deceive as to the affiliation, connection, or

association of Plaintiff, its GROUP THERAPY mark and its trade dress, with

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Defendants, and/or as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of Defendants goods.

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Plaintiff has suffered, and continues to suffer, damages to its profits,

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sales, and business as a result of Defendants acts of infringement. Plaintiff has

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sustained, and will continue to sustain, great and irreparable injury in that it will lose

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customers and good will. Plaintiff has no adequate remedy at law for these injuries.

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Unless Defendants are restrained from making such false representations in the

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future, Plaintiff will be compelled to bring a multiplicity of suits to protect its

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interests.

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56.

In performing the acts and omissions herein alleged, Defendants are

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guilty of intentional, oppressive, malicious, reckless and despicable conduct directed

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to Plaintiff in conscious disregard of Plaintiffs rights. Plaintiff is thus entitled to

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recover punitive damages from Defendants in an amount subject to proof.

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FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION

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Unfair Business Practices California Bus. & Prof. Code 17200

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57.

Plaintiff incorporates by reference the preceding paragraphs of this

Complaint as if set forth herein.


58.

Defendants have committed acts of illegal and unfair business practices,

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as defined by Business and Professions Code Section 17200 et seq., by engaging in,

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among other unfair practices, deceptive representations in violation of Business and

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Professions Code 17500, and violations of federal copyright, trademark and unfair

competition statutes.

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59.

These acts and practices violate Business and Professions Code Section

17200 in that they are illegal, unfair and/or fraudulent business practices.
60.

The unlawful, unfair and/or fraudulent business practices as described

above, present a continuing threat to members of the public in that Plaintiff and

members of the general public have no other adequate remedy at law to halt and

remedy said practices and/or policy.

61.

As a direct and proximate result of the aforementioned acts, Defendants

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received and continue to hold ill-gotten gains resulting from their unfair business

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practices, which properly belong to Plaintiff. Plaintiff, accordingly, seeks restitution

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of all such gains.

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SIXTH CAUSE OF ACTION

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Declaratory Relief

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62.

Plaintiff incorporates by reference the preceding paragraphs of this

Complaint as if set forth herein.


63.

An actual controversy has arisen between Plaintiff and Defendants with

respect to, among other things, Defendants sale of Infringing Apparel.


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Specifically, Plaintiff contends that Defendants sale of Infringing

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Apparel infringes Plaintiffs copyrights and trademark, and is confusingly similar to

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Plaintiffs trade dress, and has and/or is likely to confuse consumers.

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65.

Plaintiff seeks a judicial declaration of its rights and remedies, including

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a determination that (1) the Infringing Apparel infringes Plaintiffs copyrights; (2) the

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Infringing Apparel infringes Plaintiffs registered trademark; (3) the Infringing

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Apparel is likely to cause confusion; and (4) that Defendants have no right to sell the

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Infringing Apparel.

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PRAYER

Plaintiff prays for relief as follows:

1.

For the First Cause of Action: for damages according to proof at trial,

including but not limited to Plaintiffs actual damages, and the Defendants profits;

for statutory damages of $150,000 per work pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 504; for an order

pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 502 temporarily, preliminarily, and permanently enjoining

Defendants, and all of their principals, servants, officers, directors, partners, agents,

representatives, shareholders, employees, affiliates, successors, and assignees, and all

others acting in privity, concert, or participation with them, from (1) manufacturing,

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selling, or distributing the Infringing Apparel, (2) imitating, copying, duplicating, or

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otherwise making use of any of Plaintiffs copyrighted works, or (3) assisting, aiding,

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or abetting any person in engaging or performing any of the acts in (1) or (2); for

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costs and attorneys fees pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 504; and for such other and further

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legal and equitable relief as the Court deems just and proper.

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2.

For the Second Cause of Action: for damages according to proof at trial,

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including but not limited to Plaintiffs actual damages, and the Defendants profits;

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for treble damages pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1117(b); for statutory damages of

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$2,000,000 pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1117(c); for an order pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1116

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temporarily, preliminarily, and permanently enjoining Defendants, and all of their

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principals, servants, officers, directors, partners, agents, representatives, shareholders,

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employees, affiliates, successors, and assignees, and all others acting in privity,

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concert, or participation with them, from (1) manufacturing, selling, or distributing

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the Infringing Apparel, (2) using Plaintiffs registered mark or any confusingly

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similar mark, or (3) assisting, aiding, or abetting any person in engaging or

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performing any of the acts in (1) or (2); for an order of destruction of infringing

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goods pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1118; for costs and attorneys fees pursuant to 15

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U.S.C. 1117(a); and for such other and further legal and equitable relief as the Court

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deems just and proper.

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3.

For the Third Cause of Action: for damages according to proof at trial,

including but not limited to Plaintiffs actual damages, and the Defendants profits;

for an order pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1116 temporarily, preliminarily, and

permanently enjoining Defendants, and all of their principals, servants, officers,

directors, partners, agents, representatives, shareholders, employees, affiliates,

successors, and assignees, and all others acting in privity, concert, or participation

with them, from (1) manufacturing, selling, or distributing the Infringing Apparel, (2)

using Plaintiffs registered mark or trade dress or any confusingly similar mark or

trade dress, or (3) assisting, aiding, or abetting any person in engaging or performing

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any of the acts in (1) or (2); for an order of destruction of infringing goods pursuant

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to 15 U.S.C. 1118; for costs and attorneys fees pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1117(a);

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and for such other and further legal and equitable relief as the Court deems just and

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proper.

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4.

For the Fourth Cause of Action: damages according to proof at trial;

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disgorgement of Defendants profits; punitive damages; prejudgment interest; costs

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of suit; attorneys fees; for an order temporarily, preliminarily, and permanently

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enjoining Defendants, and all of their principals, servants, officers, directors, partners,

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agents, representatives, shareholders, employees, affiliates, successors, and assignees,

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and all others acting in privity, concert, or participation with them, from

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(1) manufacturing, selling, or distributing the Infringing Apparel, (2) using Plaintiffs

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registered mark or trade dress or any confusingly similar mark or trade dress, or

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(3) assisting, aiding, or abetting any person in engaging or performing any of the acts

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in (1) or (2); and for such other and further legal and equitable relief as the Court

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deems just and proper;

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5.

For the Fifth Cause of Action: an accounting of all profits derived by

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Defendants as a result of their unlawful conduct; disgorgement of all such wrongfully

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obtained profits; costs of suit; attorneys fees; for an order temporarily, preliminarily,

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and permanently enjoining Defendants, and all of their principals, servants, officers,

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directors, partners, agents, representatives, shareholders, employees, affiliates,

successors, and assignees, and all others acting in privity, concert, or participation

with them, from (1) manufacturing, selling, or distributing the Infringing Apparel,

(2) using Plaintiffs registered mark or trade dress or any confusingly similar mark or

trade dress, or (3) assisting, aiding, or abetting any person in engaging or performing

any of the acts in (1) or (2); and for such other and further legal and equitable relief as

the Court deems just and proper;

6.

For the Sixth Cause of Action: a determination that (1) the Infringing

Apparel infringes Plaintiffs copyrights; (2) Infringing Apparel infringes Plaintiffs

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registered trademark; (3) the Infringing Apparel are likely to cause confusion, and

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(4) that Defendants have no right to sell the Infringing Apparel; and for such other

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and further legal and equitable relief as the Court deems just and proper.

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DATED: July 17, 2015

JEFFER MANGELS BUTLER & MITCHELL LLP


ROD S. BERMAN
JESSICA BROMALL SPARKMAN

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By: /s/ ROD S. BERMAN


ROD S. BERMAN
Attorneys for Plaintiff CHRISS STUFF, INC.

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DEMAND FOR TRIAL BY JURY

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Plaintiff hereby demands a trial by jury of all issues which may be tried to a
jury.

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DATED: July 17, 2015

JEFFER MANGELS BUTLER & MITCHELL LLP


ROD S. BERMAN
JESSICA BROMALL SPARKMAN

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By: /s/ ROD S. BERMAN


ROD S. BERMAN
Attorneys for Plaintiff CHRISS STUFF, INC.

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COMPLAINT

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Case 2:15-cv-05453 Document 1 Filed 07/17/15 Page 16 of 22 Page ID #:16

EXHIBIT A

Case 2:15-cv-05453 Document 1 Filed 07/17/15 Page 17 of 22 Page ID #:17

Case 2:15-cv-05453 Document 1 Filed 07/17/15 Page 18 of 22 Page ID #:18

EXHIBIT B

Case 2:15-cv-05453 Document 1 Filed 07/17/15 Page 19 of 22 Page ID #:19

Case 2:15-cv-05453 Document 1 Filed 07/17/15 Page 20 of 22 Page ID #:20

EXHIBIT C

Case 2:15-cv-05453 Document 1 Filed 07/17/15 Page 21 of 22 Page ID #:21

Case 2:15-cv-05453 Document 1 Filed 07/17/15 Page 22 of 22 Page ID #:22