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Law School Case Brief

Puma SE v. Forever 21, Inc. - No. CV17-2523 PSG Ex, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 211140 (C.D. Cal. June 29, 2017)

Rule:

To properly plead design patent infringement, a plaintiff need only: (1) allege ownership of the patent, (2) name each defendant, (3) cite the patent, (4) state the means by which the defendant allegedly infringes, and (5) point to the sections of the patent law invoked.

Facts:

Puma filed suit against Forever 21 for alleged infringement against its intellectual property rights in a line of designer footwear known as the "Fenty" shoes. Since 2014, Puma collaborated with music artist Rihanna to design and market women's clothing and footwear, who served as the ambassador of the Fenty line. Its causes of action included: (1) design patent infringement; (2) federal trade dress infringement; (3) copyright infringement; (4) federal false designation of origin and unfair competition; and (5) state unfair competition. Forever 21 filed its motion to dismiss Puma's complaint in its entirety under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)

Issue:

Should the Court grant Forever 21's motion to dismiss?

Answer:

Yes, in part, but four counts dismissed with leave to amend; Puma adequately stated a cause of action alleging design patent infringement.

Conclusion:

The Court denied Forever 21's motion to dismiss for design patent infringement. However, the Court dismissed the claims for trade dress infringement, copyright infringement, false designation of origin and unfair competition under the Lanham Act, and action for violation of the UCL, all with leave to amend.

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