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Case 7:15-cv-01054-LEK-TWD Document 1 Filed 08/27/15 Page 1 of 18

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
CAR-FRESHNER CORPORATION
and JULIUS SMANN LTD.,

Civil Action No: 7:15-cv-1054 (LEK/TWD)


Plaintiffs,

v.
FRESH AIR CLOTHING, ADAM J. GOREN a/k/a
ADAM GORDON, ADAM J. GOREN a/k/a ADAM
GORDON d/b/a Fresh Air Clothing
Defendants.

COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND


Plaintiffs Car-Freshner Corporation (CFC) and Julius Smann Ltd. (JSL)
(collectively, Plaintiffs) by and through their counsel Hancock Estabrook, LLP, for their
Complaint against defendants Fresh Air Clothing, Adam J. Goren a/k/a Adam Gordon, and
Adam J. Goren a/k/a Adam Gordon d/b/a Fresh Air Clothing (collectively Defendants), allege
as follows:
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
1.

This action arises under the Lanham Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. 1051 et seq.,

related state statutes and the common law. This Court has jurisdiction under 15 U.S.C. 1121,
28 U.S.C. 1331, 28 U.S.C. 1338(a) and (b), and 28 U.S.C. 1367(a).
2.

Venue is proper in this judicial district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1391.


PARTIES

3.

Plaintiff CFC is a Delaware corporation that has its principal place of business at

21205 Little Tree Drive, Watertown, New York 13601.

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4.

Plaintiff JSL is a Bermuda corporation that has a place of business at Victoria

Place, 31 Victoria Street, Hamilton HM10, Bermuda.


5.

Upon information and belief, defendant Adam J. Goren (Goren) is a California

resident who resides at 11630 Brook Lane, Truckee, California, 96161.


6.

Upon information and belief, defendant Goren may also be known and go by the

name Adam Gordon.


7.

Defendant Goren has represented to the United States Patent and Trademark

Office (USPTO) that Fresh Air Clothing is a California Corporation with a business address of
P.O. Box 1863, Truckee, California 96160.
8.

Upon information and belief, Goren is an officer and director of Fresh Air

Clothing, controls its corporate affairs, has primary responsibility for the operation and
management of Fresh Air Clothing, and has a direct financial interest in the corporation.
9.

Upon information and belief, Goren personally took part in the infringing,

unfairly competitive, and dilutive activities alleged in this Complaint.


10.

Upon information and belief, Goren either took part directly and/or specifically

directed employees to take part in the infringing, unfairly competitive, and dilutive activities
alleged in this Complaint.
11.

There is no recording for Defendant Fresh Air Clothing with the Secretary of

State for California.


12.

Upon information and belief, Defendant Goren is conducting business under the

fictitious business name Fresh Air Clothing in the event Fresh Air Clothing is not a corporate
entity.

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13.

Upon information and belief, Defendants design, manufacture, offer for sale, and

sell a line of clothing, including T-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats.


14.

Defendants advertise, offer for sale and sell their products on the internet through

the website, freshairclothing.com and advertise and promote their products on Facebook and
Instagram.
15.

Defendants promote and sell their products through the freshairclothing.com

website to customers located in this judicial district.


PLAINTIFFS BUSINESS AND TRADEMARKS
16.

For over 60 years, directly and/or by license from JSL and its predecessors, CFC

and its predecessors have used trademarks and corporate identifiers comprising or containing a
distinctive Tree design (the Tree Design Marks), in connection with the manufacture, marketing
and sale of various products and services, including without limitation the world famous air
fresheners in the distinct Tree design shape (LITTLE TREES Air Fresheners). As a result of this
long and extensive use on quality products and this long and extensive use as corporate
identifiers, the Tree Designs Marks are well known and well received.
17.

Plaintiffs and their respective predecessors rights in the Tree Design Marks date

back to at least as early as August 29, 1952.


18.

JSL is the owner of the Tree Design Marks, and CFC is the exclusive licensee of

the Tree Design Marks for air fresheners in the United States.
19.

In addition to the ubiquitous LITTLE TREES Air Fresheners, over the years,

Plaintiffs have used the Tree Design Marks in connection with many additional goods and
services that promote and benefit from association with the Tree Design Marks, including

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without limitation t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, backpacks and duffle bags, office products, clocks
and watches, games, downloadable computer graphics, toys, magnets, stickers, and many more.
20.

Plaintiffs use the Tree Design Marks in many different fashions to identify

Plaintiffs as the source of high quality goods and services. Among many other uses, the Tree
Design Marks appear on the packaging for Plaintiffs products, on the products themselves, in
various forms of advertising and promotions for Plaintiffs and their products, throughout
websites operated by Plaintiffs, and as the shape and configuration of the LITTLE TREES Air
Fresheners.
21.

Plaintiffs products bearing the Tree Design Marks are sold throughout the United

States and in most countries around the world, through a wide variety of different trade channels,
and they appear frequently on television, in movies, and in popular culture as a symbol of highquality goods originating with Plaintiffs.
22.

Plaintiffs products bearing the Tree Design Marks are also widely promoted in a

variety of media, including on numerous websites, magazines and printed promotional materials.
23.

Because of the fame and public recognition of the Tree Design Marks, Plaintiffs

are also called upon to license the Tree Design Marks to third parties for various goods and
services, often in connection with advertising activities promoting the freshness or newness of
the third parties good and/or services. Such third party licensed users include Buffalo Wild
Wings, Inc., Pactiv Corporation, Nestle Purina PetCare Company, Utah First Credit Union, and
Discover Financial Services, each of whom have licensed the Tree Design Marks for use in print
or television advertising.

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24.

As a result of this widespread and longstanding use, promotion and licensing of

the Tree Design Marks and the products they designate, Plaintiffs products sold in connection
with those marks have been a tremendous commercial success.
25.

As a result of this long and extensive use and promotion, the Tree Design Marks

enjoy widespread public recognition. They have acquired tremendous goodwill and secondary
meaning among the consuming public, which recognizes the Tree Design Marks as exclusively
associated with Plaintiffs.
26.

The Tree Design Marks are famous among the general consuming public and

have enjoyed such fame since long prior to the Defendants infringing acts complained of herein.
27.

JSL owns the following federal trademark registrations for the Tree Design

Marks:
Mark

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Registration No. Registration Date

Goods/Services

719,498

August 8, 1961

Absorbent body impregnated with a


perfumed air deodorant, in Class 5

1,131,617

March 11, 1980

Absorbent body impregnated with a


perfumed air deodorant, in Class 5

2,741,364

July 29, 2003

Travel bags, in Class 18; Shirts,


sweatshirts, t-shirts and caps, in Class
25

Case 7:15-cv-01054-LEK-TWD Document 1 Filed 08/27/15 Page 6 of 18

Mark

Registration No. Registration Date

Goods/Services

1,781,016

July 13, 1993

1,726,888

October 27, 1992

1,791,233

September 7, 1993 Air freshener, in Class 5

3,766,310

March 30, 2010

Air freshener, in Class 5

Cleaning products, namely residue


and stain removers for automotive and
home surfaces, in Class 3

Air fresheners, in Class 5; ornamental


magnets and downloadable computer
graphics, in Class 9; clocks, in Class
14; pens, stationery, note cards, paper
folders and stickers, in Class 16;
luggage tags, in Class 18; non-metal
key chains, in Class 20; shirts, hats
and costumes for Halloween and
Masquerades, in Class 25; playing
cards, in Class 28

28.

All of the registrations identified above are incontestable pursuant to 15 U.S.C.

29.

Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1115, JSLs registrations are prima facie evidence of the

1065.

validity of the marks, of JSLs ownership of the marks, and of JSLs exclusive right to use and
license the marks throughout the United States.
30.

JSL also has potent common law trademark rights in and to its Tree Design Marks

by virtue of their longstanding and well-recognized use in commerce.

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31.

The Tree Design Marks are famous, inherently distinctive, have acquired

distinctiveness and secondary meaning, represent valuable goodwill, have gained a reputation for
quality belonging exclusively to Plaintiffs, and are widely recognized by the general consuming
public of the United States as designations of the source for Plaintiffs products.
THE DEFENDANTS ACTIVITIES
32.

Upon information and belief, Defendants design, manufacture, market, distribute,

offer for sale, and sell, apparel and other merchandise, including inter alia, T-shirts, sweatshirts,
hats, and stickers.
33.

Plaintiffs recently discovered that Defendants have adopted and are using a tree

design to market, distribute, offer for sale, and sell apparel and merchandise, including inter alia,
T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and stickers to companies and individuals located throughout the
United States.
34.

Defendants market, distribute, offer for sale, and sell, apparel and merchandise,

including inter alia, T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and stickers that incorporate the tree design (the
Infringing Products).
35.

The tree design adopted by Defendants is nearly identical in appearance and shape

to Plaintiffs famous Tree Design Marks.

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36.

Immediately below are images of products offered by Defendants bearing the

infringing tree design, compared with Plaintiffs Tree Design Marks:


Defendants Infringing Products

Plaintiffs Tree Design Marks

Reg. No. 2,741,364 Reg. No. 3,766,310

37.

Defendants also use the tree design as their company logo (the Infringing

Logo), as shown by the image below, which is displayed on Defendants website:

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38.

On March 23, 2015, Defendants submitted an application to the USPTO seeking

federal registration of a mark that consists of a scent tree with the phrase FRESH AIR in
stylized lettering in Class 25 in connection with Beanies, Caps, Hats, Jackets, Shirts, Socks,
Sweatshirts, and T-shirts. A copy of the record from the USPTOs Trademark Electronic
Search System for this application is attached as Exhibit A.
39.

On June 5, 2015, after discovering the Infringing Apparel and Logo, Plaintiffs

contacted Fresh Air Clothing at the email address provided on its website concerning the
Defendants infringing activities, advising them of the existence of Plaintiffs Tree Design
Marks, and requesting that they contact Plaintiffs by June 17, 2015 to resolve the matter.
40.

On July 6, 2015, Plaintiffs received a response from Fresh Air Clothing stating

only that it was registering Fresh Air Clothing with the USPTO, that it was a clothing
company, and that it did not manufacture or sell air fresheners.
41.

On July 17, 2015, Plaintiffs advised Fresh Air Clothing that its July 6, 2015

response was not sufficient to resolve the matter and requested a call to further discuss the issue,
to which Plaintiffs did not respond.
42.

Plaintiffs thereafter made additional requests to Fresh Air Clothing to discuss the

matter, to which the only response has been that it is not available.
43.

To date, Defendants continue to use the infringing scent tree design on all of

their products and as their company logo on their website.


44.

Plaintiffs have never given Defendants permission to use the Tree Design Marks.

45.

Defendants use of a scent tree design that is nearly identical to Plaintiffs

famous Tree Design Marks in connection with the promotion of their products, is likely to cause
confusion as to the source and origin of Defendants products and is likely to cause confusion or

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mistake, or to deceive consumers as to the source or sponsorship of Defendants products and to


mislead the public into believing that Defendants products emanate from, are approved or
sponsored by, are licensed by, or are in some way associated or connected with Plaintiffs.
46.

Upon information and belief, Defendants were aware of Plaintiffs famous Tree

Design Marks prior to their design, manufacture and distribution of the Infringing Apparel and
use of the Infringing Logo, but nevertheless intentionally proceeded with the distribution of these
infringing items and use of the Infringing Logo with disregard for Plaintiffs rights.
47.

Upon information and belief, Defendants use of a scent tree design nearly

identical to Plaintiffs famous Tree Design Marks in connection with the sale of Defendants
products is part of a campaign to free-ride on the enormous goodwill associated with Plaintiffs
famous Tree Design Marks.
48.

Defendants, by their acts complained of herein, have infringed the Tree Design

Marks, diluted the unique commercial impression of the Tree Design Marks, unfairly competed
with Plaintiffs in the marketplace, and otherwise improperly used the reputation and goodwill of
Plaintiffs to promote their goods, which are not connected with, or authorized, approved,
licensed, produced or sponsored by, Plaintiffs.
49.

The aforesaid acts of Defendants have caused and, unless restrained and enjoined

by this Court, will continue to cause irreparable damage, loss and injury to Plaintiffs, for which
they have no adequate remedy at law.

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Case 7:15-cv-01054-LEK-TWD Document 1 Filed 08/27/15 Page 11 of 18

CLAIMS FOR RELIEF


CLAIM I
INFRINGEMENT OF A REGISTERED TRADEMARK
50.

Plaintiffs repeat and reallege the allegations of paragraphs 1 through 49 as if set

forth herein.
51.

The Defendants unlawful and improper actions, as set forth above, are likely to

cause confusion, mistake, or deception as to the source, origin, affiliation, association or


sponsorship of the Defendants goods and services and falsely mislead consumers into believing
that the Defendants goods originate from, are affiliated or connected with, or approved by,
Plaintiffs.
52.

Accordingly, the Defendants activities constitute an infringement of the Tree

Design Marks, in violation of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1114.


53.

The Defendants acts of infringement have caused Plaintiffs to sustain monetary

damage, loss and injury, in an amount to be determined at trial.


54.

The Defendants have engaged and continue to engage in these activities willfully,

so as to justify the assessment of treble damages and attorneys fees under 15 U.S.C. 1117.
CLAIM II
TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT AND UNFAIR COMPETITION (FEDERAL)
55.

Plaintiffs repeat and reallege the allegations of paragraphs 1 through 54 as if set

forth herein.
56.

The Defendants unlawful and improper actions, as set forth above, are likely to

cause confusion, mistake or deception as to the source, origin or sponsorship of the Defendants
goods, and to falsely mislead consumers into believing that the Defendants goods originate
from, are affiliated or connected with, or are approved by, Plaintiffs.

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57.

Accordingly, the Defendants activities constitute an infringement of the

Tree Design Marks, false designation of origin, and unfair competition in violation of 15 U.S.C.
1125(a).
58.

The Defendants acts of infringement, false designation of origin, and unfair

competition have caused Plaintiffs to sustain monetary damage, loss, and injury, in an amount to
be determined at trial.
59.

The Defendants have engaged and continue to engage in these activities willfully,

so as to justify the assessment of treble damages under 15 U.S.C. 1117.


60.

The Defendants acts of infringement, false designation of origin, and unfair

competition, unless enjoined by this Court, will continue to cause Plaintiffs to sustain irreparable
damage, loss and injury, for which they have no adequate remedy at law.
CLAIM III
TRADEMARK DILUTION (FEDERAL)
61.

Plaintiffs repeat and reallege the allegations of paragraphs 1 through 60 as if set

forth herein.
62.

Plaintiffs are the owners and licensees of the Tree Design Marks that are famous

and distinctive among the general consuming public in the United States, and have been famous
since long before Defendants adopted the scent tree design as their Logo and began making
and distributing products bearing the scent tree design.
63.

Defendants use and distribution of products bearing the scent tree design in

commerce is likely to dilute, impair and blur the distinctive quality of the famous Tree Design
Marks in violation of 15 U.S.C. 1125(c).
64.

Defendants acts of dilution have caused Plaintiffs to sustain monetary damage,

loss, and injury, in an amount to be determined at trial.


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Case 7:15-cv-01054-LEK-TWD Document 1 Filed 08/27/15 Page 13 of 18

65.

Defendants have engaged in these activities willfully, so as to justify the

assessment of treble damages under 15 U.S.C. 1117.


Defendants acts have caused substantial and irreparable damage and injury to

66.

Plaintiffs and in particular to their valuable goodwill and the distinctive quality of their famous
Tree Design Marks and, unless enjoined by this Court, will continue to cause substantial and
irreparable damage and injury to Plaintiffs for which they have no adequate remedy at law.
COUNT IV
VIOLATION OF NEW YORK GENERAL BUSINESS LAW 360-l
67.

Plaintiffs repeat and reallege the allegations of paragraphs 1 through 66 as if set

forth herein.
68.

Defendants acts dilute and are likely to continue diluting Plaintiffs distinctive

Tree Design Marks. Defendants acts also injured and continue to injure the business reputation
of Plaintiffs, in violation of Plaintiffs rights under New York General Business Law 360-l.
69.

Defendants violations of New York General Business Law 360-l have caused

Plaintiffs to sustain monetary damage, loss and injury, in an amount to be determined at trial.
70.

Defendants violations of New York General Business Law 360-l, have caused

Plaintiffs to sustain irreparable harm, for which they have no adequate remedy at law.

CLAIM V
UNFAIR COMPETITION (COMMON LAW)
71.

Plaintiffs repeat and reallege the allegations of paragraphs 1 through 70 as if set

forth herein.
72.

Defendants activities complained of herein constitute unfair competition under

New York State common law.

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Defendants aforesaid violations of New York State common law have caused

73.

Plaintiffs to sustain monetary damage, loss and injury, in an amount to be determined at trial.
Defendants engaged in this activity willfully and wantonly with morally culpable

74.

behavior, so as to justify the assessment of punitive damages against it, in an amount to be


determined at trial.
Defendants aforesaid violations of New York State common law, unless enjoined

75.

by this Court, will continue to cause Plaintiffs to sustain irreparable damage, loss and injury, for
which they have no adequate remedy at law.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs Car-Freshner Corporation and Julius Smann Ltd. demand
judgment against Defendants Fresh Air Clothing, Adam J. Goren a/k/a Adam Gordon, and Adam
J. Goren a/k/a Adam Gordon d/b/a Fresh Air Clothing, as follows:
A.

That Defendants, and each of their affiliates, officers, agents, servants, employees

and attorneys, successors and assigns, and all persons in active concert or participation with them
who receive actual notice of the injunction order, by personal service or otherwise, be enjoined,
preliminarily and permanently, from:
1.

Any manufacture, production, sale, import, export, license, distribution,

advertisement, promotion, and/or display, use, or other exploitation, of the Infringing Products
and Infringing Logo;
2. Any use of Plaintiffs Tree Design Marks, or any other marks, designs, products,
designations or displays confusingly similar thereto, in connection with any goods or services;

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Case 7:15-cv-01054-LEK-TWD Document 1 Filed 08/27/15 Page 15 of 18

3. Committing any other acts calculated or likely to cause consumers to believe that
Defendants are in any manner connected, affiliated, or associated with or licensed, sponsored or
approved by Plaintiffs; and
4. Committing any other acts that infringe or dilute Plaintiffs Tree Design Marks or
otherwise constitute unfair competition with Plaintiffs;
B.

Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1118, that Defendants deliver to Plaintiffs for destruction,

all units of the Infringing Products and all materials (including without limitation all
advertisements, promotional materials, brochures, signs, displays, packaging, labels, stationary,
business cards, website materials, and/or invoices), within its possession, custody or control,
either directly or indirectly, that display or incorporate the Infringing Products or the Tree
Design Marks, or any other marks, designs, products, designations or displays confusingly
similar thereto;
C.

Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1116, that Defendants file with the Court and serve on

counsel for Plaintiffs within thirty (30) days after the entry of final judgment, a report in writing
and under oath setting forth in detail the manner and form in which Defendants have complied
with paragraphs A and B above;
D.

Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1117(a), that Plaintiffs recover from Defendants their

profits or other advantages, Plaintiffs damages resulting from Defendants unlawful acts set
forth herein, and/or a reasonable royalty for Defendants unlawful use of the Tree Design Marks,
in an amount to be proven at the time of trial, together with legal interest from the date of accrual
thereof;
E.

Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1117(a), that Plaintiffs recover from Defendants treble

damages, in an amount to be proven at the time of trial;

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Case 7:15-cv-01054-LEK-TWD Document 1 Filed 08/27/15 Page 16 of 18

F.

That Plaintiffs recover from Defendants exemplary and punitive damages and/or

increased profits, in an amount to be proven at the time of trial.


G.

That Plaintiffs recover from Defendants their attorneys fees and costs in this

action; and
H.

That Plaintiffs be awarded such other and further relief as the Court may deem

equitable and proper.


JURY DEMAND
Plaintiffs demand trial by jury.

Dated: August 27, 2015

HANCOCK ESTABROOK, LLP


By:

s/Ashley D. Hayes
Ashley D. Hayes (511333)

1500 AXA Tower I


100 Madison Street
Syracuse, New York 13202
Tel: (315) 565-4500
Email: ahayes@hancocklaw.com
Counsel for Plaintiffs

{H2621808.1}

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Case 7:15-cv-01054-LEK-TWD Document 1 Filed 08/27/15 Page 17 of 18

Exhibit A

7:15-cv-01054-LEK-TWD
TrademarkCase
Electronic
Search System (TESS) Document 1 Filed 08/27/15 Page 18 of 18Page 1 of 1

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Word Mark

FRESH AIR

Goods and
Services

IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: Beanies; Caps; Hats; Jackets; Shirts; Socks; Sweatshirts; T-shirts.
FIRST USE: 20140101. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20150131

Mark Drawing
Code

(3) DESIGN PLUS WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS

Design Search
Code

05.01.01
26.11.21

Serial Number

86573719

- Evergreens and other trees or bushes of triangular or conical shape; Pine tree
- Rectangles that are completely or partially shaded

Filing Date

March 23, 2015

Current

Basis

1A

Original
Basis

Filing

(APPLICANT) Fresh Air Clothing


CALIFORNIA 96160

Owner
Description
Mark

1A

of

CORPORATION CALIFORNIA P.O.

Box 1863 Truckee

The mark consists of a scent tree with the phrase FRESH AIR in stylized lettering.

Type of Mark

TRADEMARK

Register

PRINCIPAL

LivelDead
Indicator

LIVE

I.HOME I SITE INDEXI

SEARCH I eBUSINESS

HELP

PRIVACY POLICY

http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4801 :e26per.2.1

8/27/2015