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Scandia Down Corp. v. Euroquilt, Inc. - 772 F.2d 1423 (7th Cir. 1985)

Rule:

A "corporation" is an abstraction, and abstractions cannot appear pro se. The corporation is just a convenient name for a complex web of contracts among managers, workers, and suppliers of equity and debt capital. 

Facts:

Plaintiffs, Scandia Down Corp. and Goose Down, Inc., sued defendant Euroquilt, Inc. for trademark infringement when Euroquilt adopted the use of four different logos that were similar to the trademark used by Scandia. Plaintiffs contended that the logos adopted by defendants were colorable imitations of the trademark used by appelle. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, granted injunctive relief, holding that plaintiffs were entitled to relief because the infringement was wilful, and defendant designed its logos in a deliberate effort to capture plaintiffs' customers. Defendant sought appellate review.

Issue:

Did the district court err in granting plaintiffs a permanent injunction enjoining defendant's use of certain logos?

Answer:

No

Conclusion:

On appeal, the court stated that the district court was entitled to conclude that none of defendant's marks were merely descriptive. A district court possesses substantial discretion to decide how close is too close, once an infringer has committed a contempt of the original injunction. The court may require the contemnor to choose a distinctively different mark rather than to hew so close to the line that the parties must interminably return to court to haggle about every mark. The court held that, due to evidence of actual consumer confusion regarding the parties' trademarks, plaintiffs were entitled to injunctive relief.

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