Stanley sues Costco, Whalen over alleged knockoffs
Ray Allegrezza -- Furniture Today, September 17, 2012
ROBBINSVILLE, N.C. - Adult and youth case goods resource Stanley Furniture has filed a trademark infringement, trade dress infringement and unfair competition lawsuit against retailer Costco and manufacturer Whalen Furniture.
In a statement, Stanley said it filed the action to protect its brand and furniture designs.
The lawsuit alleges the intentional copying of Stanley's MyHaven trademark and furniture collection, part of the company's Young America infant and youth furniture line. It claims that Costco and Whalen are using without authorization the MyHaven trademark and have substantially duplicated the design and trade dress of the Young America MyHaven bed.
The lawsuit was filed last week in federal court in Greensboro, N.C. The complaint identifies the "My Haven" bedroom furniture manufactured by Whalen and sold under the name Bayside Furnishings. Stanley seeks an injunction to stop all U.S. sales, manufacturing and importation of the infringing furniture, and compensation in the form of attorney's fees and damages incurred from such sales.
Whalen is selling the infringing furniture through Costco stores, the suit adds.
"Consumers have come to recognize our MyHaven collection within Young America as high quality furniture made right here in the USA," said Glenn Prillaman, Stanley Furniture's president and CEO.
"We spend a great deal of time, effort and resources educating consumers and creating goodwill for our brands and our products. We are a global company utilizing overseas manufacturing sources for other brands offered by our company. However, we cannot tolerate the use of our brand names and designs to deceive the American public and we will aggressively protect our position," Prillaman added.
Young America is made at Stanley manufacturing facility in Robbinsville, N.C., which is nearing completion of an $8 million refurbishment, he said.
Ken Whalen, president of Whalen Furniture, told Furniture/Today that, "We have not had any communication with Stanley Furniture regarding this matter." After being told the specifics of Stanley's allegations, Whalen said, "We do not believe this suit has merit."
Costco officials did not return calls seeking comment.