On February 15, Devi Kroell Inc. and Azzorro Capital Inc. v. Graciela
Chiurazzi was filed in the New York Supreme Court, New York County. The plaintiffs are
investors in the business of Ms. Chiurazzi, a/k/a Devi Kroell, who as part of
the investment transaction assigned IP and publicity rights associated with the
"Devi Kroell" mark to plaintiffs and entered into a Stockholders'
Agreement, Investment Agreement and Employment Agreement, all containing
non-compete covenants and retaining the right to use "Devi Kroel" for
"day to day personal, non-commercial affairs" and for certain business
ventures deemed non-competitive. A few years afterwards, Ms. Chiurazzi resigned
and attempted to launch a new fashion line under the mark "Dax
Gabler" but promoted using the name "Devi Kroell," including at
the recently concluded Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week. Plaintiffs brought this
suit, alleging breach of contract and common law unfair competition.
Interestingly, the plaintiffs chose to file in state court on state causes of
action rather than in Federal Court alleging trademark infringement. The facts
of this case are reminiscent of the Joseph Abboud case, except that Devi Kroel is not Ms. Chiurazzi's real name but a
d/b/a, a nom d'aiguille.
Please click on the link at the top of the post to view
or download the entire complaint from Devi Kroell Inc & Azzurro Capital Inc vs. Gracelia Chiurazzi, 650400-2011 (N.Y. Gen. Term 2/15/11)
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