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Registered trademarks are presumed to be distinctive, and should be afforded the utmost protection.
Levi Strauss & Company (Levi) was a famous clothing manufacturer with an incontestable federal trademark in its casual pants' back pocket stitching pattern was granted summary judgment against Lois Sportswear, U.S.A., Inc. (Lois) and Textiles Y Confecciones Europeas, S.A. (Textiles) in a trademark infringement case. Appellants, who manufactured and imported jeans which bore a back pocket stitching pattern substantially similar to Levi’s trademark stitching pattern, were enjoined from using the stitching pattern on their jeans.
Was summary judgment for Levi appropriate on claims of trademark infringement and unfair competition when Levi has shown that a rival jeans manufacturer is using the trademark owner's registered back pocket stitching pattern trademark on its competing jeans, and the undisputed evidence shows that the trademark is intimately associated with Levi’s products in the minds of jeans consumers?
The court found that Lois and Textiles were using Levi’s registered trademark on their competing products, and the undisputed evidence showed that the trademark was intimately associated with Levi’s products. While Lois and Textiles’ trade dress dispelled some point of sale confusion, the labeling did not prevent consumers from mistakenly assuming that Levi was associated with Lois and Textiles or had consented to the mark's use. Also, the record showed the distinct likelihood of post-sale confusion. In light of the undisputed evidence which compelled those legal conclusions, summary judgment in favor of Levi was affirmed as appropriate under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C.S. §§ 1114(1)(a), 1125(a).