Kenyon & Kenyon LLP: Car-Freshner Corporation Wins Big Against Getty Images

Kenyon & Kenyon LLP: Car-Freshner Corporation Wins Big Against Getty Images

Watertown, NY, June 28, 2012 - Car-Freshner Corporation obtained a judgment against Getty Images today in its lawsuit over Getty's licensing of images of the Little Trees air fresheners.  Under the Court's Civil Judgment, Getty Images must stop licensing such images for all but editorial purposes, and must pay a $100,000 penalty to Car-Freshner for past use of the images.

Car-Freshner sued Getty for the unauthorized licensing of images that feature the famous Little Trees air fresheners, after the latter ignored the air freshener maker's requests to take the images down. 

"Getty's customers thought Getty could give them permission to use the Little Trees air freshener design, which is not the case," explained Jody LaLone, Car‑Freshner's President.  "We are often surprised - and usually flattered - by how consumers use our products.  But this was about Getty making money licensing something they didn't own."

This favorable judgment was the second win for Car-Freshner in the case.  Judge Suddaby of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York had earlier largely rejected Getty's Motion to Dismiss the complaint.

The Judgment supports Car-Freshner's position that Getty's activities violated its trademark rights and diluted the distinctive quality of its valuable brands.  The Judgment requires Getty to (1) pay a penalty of $100,000 for its past actions, (2) cease offering to license images displaying the Little Trees air freshener design and Car-Freshner's products, and (3) instruct its staff, submitting photographers, and other third-parties regarding the appropriate treatment of Car-Freshner's intellectual property.  There are also penalties if Getty violates the terms of the Judgment, including liquidated damages of $10,000 per instance, full payment of Car-Freshner's attorneys' fees to enforce the Judgment, and payment of 100% of any revenue made from licensing the Little Trees air freshener design in the future.

"Suffice it to say, we are very pleased with the outcome," said Ms. LaLone.

Car-Freshner is the Watertown, NY-based maker of the Little Trees air fresheners.  For 60 years, the company has been making its iconic products in the United States for distribution around the world.

Car-Freshner and its co-plaintiff, Julius Sämann Ltd., were represented by Edward T. Colbert and Michelle Mancino Marsh of Kenyon & Kenyon LLP, and Roberta Bren and Jonathan Hudis of Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt.

The Judgment is available here.

Inquiries to Car-Freshner should be directed to info@little-trees.com.

About Kenyon & Kenyon LLP

Kenyon & Kenyon is consistently ranked by peers and in-house counsel as one of the top firms for intellectual property law. Since its founding in 1879, the firm has provided its worldwide clientele with litigation, prosecution, licensing and counseling services. Large and small enterprises and individuals choose Kenyon to design and implement intellectual property strategies when it matters most. The firm has offices in New York, Washington, DC, and Silicon Valley.

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