The Company Seeks To Protect its Brand and Require Donald and Lisa Pliner To Comply With Contractual Obligations
DJP Holdings, LLC, parent of the Donald J Pliner men’s and women’s luxury footwear and accessories business (“the Company”), has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware against its former designer and founder Donald Pliner and his spouse Lisa Pliner.
The lawsuit asserts that the Pliners are violating the Company’s rights in connection with a new footwear business that they have just launched, with claims including breach of contract, trademark infringement, false advertising, deceptive trade practices, and unfair competition, among others. The requested relief includes stopping the shipment, display, or sale of infringing footwear and packaging made by the Pliners – at wholesale or in retail stores.
The Pliners sold control of the Company in 2011, when it was experiencing numerous financial challenges. Since that time, the Company has invested significant resources and time reinvigorating the brand and improving the business.
In connection with the 2011 sale, the Pliners entered into agreements assigning all intellectual property, work product, designs, and all other aspects of the Donald J Pliner fashion brand, including the use of their names and rights of publicity, to the Company.
The suit filed in court outlines numerous recent activities by the Pliners that infringe on the Company’s rights and create confusion in the marketplace. The Company previously contacted the Pliners to remind them of their obligations with respect to their agreements. The Company has now determined that it must pursue this litigation in order to protect its business of creating luxury, fashion footwear and accessories known for innovative materials and quality craftsmanship.
The Donald J Pliner Company has built a reputation for its innovative materials and quality craftsmanship in men’s and women’s luxury footwear and accessories. Since 1989, the brand has been known for the combination of fashion, fit and comfort and enjoys a loyal, large client base and distinct market positioning. Donald J Pliner products are sold nationwide in select specialty stores and upscale department stores including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdale’s. The entire collection is also available at the company’s six retail stores – Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, New Orleans, Orlando, San Jose and on www.donaldjpliner.com.
The Company’s legal counsel is Ropes & Gray LLP as well as Abrams & Bayliss, LLP.