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Judge upholds Brighton Collectibles' $8 mn judgment against Coldwater
May '09
A federal judge has rebuffed efforts by Coldwater Creek to overturn an $8 million judgment in favor of Brighton Collectibles. The judgment, entered on January 28, 2009, holds Coldwater Creek liable for willful infringement of a Brighton copyright and Brighton's trade dress. The judgment includes more than $6.7 million in compensatory damages plus all of Brighton's attorney's fees, which exceed $1.2 million.

The judgment was based on an earlier jury verdict. The jury found that Coldwater Creek had infringed Brighton's Carolina Heart copyright. In addition, the jury found that Brighton owns a distinctive trade dress, and Coldwater Creek infringed that trade dress as well. The "trade dress" is the signature look of certain Brighton products. This look is commonly known as the "Brighton Look".

By order entered April 21, 2009, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California upheld the judgment. The district court determined that the jury's finding of willful misconduct by Coldwater Creek "is supported by substantial evidence."

Brighton now has a second lawsuit pending against Coldwater Creek. Brighton filed the lawsuit after finding that Coldwater Creek had not ceased copying Brighton designs, even while the first lawsuit was pending. The second lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages, based on Coldwater Creek's alleged infringement of both Brighton's trade dress and an additional copyright.

Known for excellent quality and a broad-ranging assortment of finely crafted accessories, Brighton produces handbags, jewelry, belts, footwear, small leather essentials, eyewear, luggage, fragrances and gifts. These products are available to the public at small boutiques across the United States and more than 120 stores operated by Brighton itself under the Brighton Collectibles name.

Brighton strongly believes that it must zealously protect its intellectual property rights. By doing so, Brighton is protecting the thousands of small business owners who support the brand by buying it for their retail stores.

Moreover, Brighton is protecting the millions of consumers who are loyal friends of the brand. Brighton believes that people are entitled to know that when they buy Brighton, they are buying something high quality and uniquely "Brighton", not an imitation masquerading as an original.

Brighton Collectibles

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