Three big names are in hot water for possible trademark infringement and allegedly duping customers.
Emirel Lagasse, Martha Stewart and the Home Shopping Network are being sued by a German trade association that believes they are selling faulty China-made kitchen knives and advertising them as high quality kitchenware manufactured in Solingen, Germany.
According to Forbes, the suit was filed by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Wuppertal-Solingen-Rumscheid, which owns the Solingen name. Filing the suit in a U.S. District Court in Florida, the prosecutors claim the defendants are knowingly selling the counterfeit items. The suit states the knives “are marked with the signature trademark ‘Emeril,’ and ‘Solingen, Germany’ on one side of the blade, and on the other side they are marked ‘China.’”
So how do Martha Stewart and HSN play into this? Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia owns the product line that Lagasse is selling through. They believe Stewart was “responsible for the licensing, advertising, promotion and sales” since she is identified as the controlling force behind the parent company. HSN is in targeted for advertising, distributing, promoting and offering the products for sale.
The knives themselves have been rated poorly by certain customers, some of whom complained that the items “were rusting and breaking in half,” according to the suit which points out this and other complaints.
The prosecutors are asking for an injunction that would prevent Lagasse, Stewart and HSN from selling the knives, as well as for damages of up to $2 million for every instance of trademark infringement.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Lagasse and HSN have not yet commented.