• Thomas Russell

Lexington Home Brands sues online retailer over use of name

THOMASVILLE, N.C. — Case goods and upholstery resource Lexington Home Brands has filed a trademark infringement and trademark dilution lawsuit against an online home furnishings retailer for adopting a similar trade name.

In a lawsuit filed May 25 in the U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J., the company alleged that New Jersey-based Sugar Stores Inc. is using the trademarked Lexington name.

The company said that Sugar Stores has adopted the "confusingly similar" trade name "Lexington Modern" for its online furniture operation found at www.lexingtonmodern.com (which has since been changed to LexMod.com). The lawsuit said that the retailer also sold furniture bearing the Lexington name on its websites, www.SugarStores.com and www.AtlanticFurnitureStore.com.

The suit said none of the products on the websites are genuine Lexington brand furniture pieces.

It also claims that the pieces sold through the "Lexington Modern" store are unauthorized reproductions of famous pieces of furniture and that the retailer has no association with any designer it lists on its website.

The suit said the company's use of the Lexington name in connection with furniture will likely diminish consumer opinion of the Lexington brand. It cites seven counts of federal, state or common law trademark infringement and unfair competition, trademark dilution and cybersquatting, which is the use a domain name with intent to profit from a trademark belonging to someone else.

Lexington seeks a jury trial as well as a judgment that would require Sugar Stores to immediately cease infringing on the Lexington name in any manner, including packaging, advertising or other promotional materials.

Sugar Stores officials did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The Lexington Modern name has been changed to LexMod at the site, also renamed www.LexMod.com. However, a recent review of the AtlanticFurniture.com and SugarStores.com websites still displayed product under the Lexington name.

Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, FurnitureToday
trussell@furnituretoday.com

I'm Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.

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