Common Law Unfair Competition, Conversion, Debra McVicker Lynch, Federal False Designation of Origin, Federal Trademark Counterfeiting, Federal Trademark Infringement, Federal Unfair Competion, Sarah Evans Barker, Theft
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet –William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet
Poulsen Roser is a family-owned Danish company world-famous for its breeding of distinctive rose varieties, for which it obtains patent and trademark protection. A lawsuit has been filed in the Southern District of Indiana involving their INGRID BERGMAN rose, a “unique currant red hybrid tea rose variety.” Poulsen owns a U.S. trademark registration for INGRID BERGMAN in connection with “live roses.”
The Defendants operate one of the U.S.’s largest wholesale rose growers, distributing flowers to garden centers, nurseries, and mail order outlets.
This lawsuit arises because the Defendants are allegedly producing, advertising, selling, and distributing unauthorized roses using the Poulsen’s INGRID BERGMAN mark. Further bibliographical information on the Defendants’ website about their “counterfeit” roses (see screenshot) might suggest to consumers that they are in fact authentic Poulsen roses.
Surely this situation can’t be as cut and dried as the Complaint (below) would imply. A large wholesale grower like the Defendants would certainly understand the implications of selling unauthorized rose varieties and know they couldn’t escape detection. We’ll have to stay tuned for their Answer and another possible side of the story.
Poulsen Roser A/S vs. Gardens Alive, Inc. et al.
Case Number: 4:21-cv-00113-SEB-DML
File Date: Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Plaintiff: Poulsen Roser A/S
Plaintiff Counsel: Louis T. Perry of Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
Defendant: Gardens Alive, Inc., Early Morning LLC d/b/a Weeks Roses
Cause: Federal Trademark Counterfeiting, Federal Trademark Infringement, Federal Unfair Competion, Federal False Designation of Origin, Common Law Unfair Competition, Conversion, Theft
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Debra McVicker Lynch