The domestic diva, the loud chef and HSN are being pulled into court together by a German Chamber of Commerce for selling knockoff knives. With the kind of damages the plaintiff is seeking, the suit could end up taking a big cut out of Stewart and the company she founded as well as the Home Shopping Network. Filed yesterday in Florida (read it here), Stewart herself and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, along with Emeril Lagasse and HSNi the company that owns the Home Shopping Network, are accused of trademark infringement in selling knives purporting to be made in Solingen, a region in northern Germany known for making high quality knives, when in fact the cutlery comes from China. Under the Solingen Degree, a German federal law, all knives and other products alleged to have come from the area must met very specific standards which the knives Lagasse and Stewart, who is currently the founder and Chief Creative Officer at MSLO, have been shilling do not, the plaintiffs say. SED International Holdings, distributors of the supposedly false knives, is also named as a defendant. The Chamber of Industry and Commerce Wuppertal-Solingen-Remscheid, who holds the rights to Solingen-made knife certification, wants an injunction against further sales of the alleged fake knives destroyed and “up to $2,000,000 for each time the defendants have willfully counterfeited and infringed the Solingen Certification Mark.” The claims, which also include legal and attorneys’ fees, could easily run into the tens of millions if you simply take the numerous examples that the Chamber cites in its suit of the Emeril brand products appearing in video clips on the HSN site and on Stewart’s site. MSLO owns the rights to Emeril branded products. The German group has asked for trial by jury. Catherine Hoffman and Greg Mayback of Fort Lauderdale’s Mayback & Hoffman represent the plaintiffs.
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