Jewelry Maker Wins First-of-its-Kind Court Battle

Family-owned jewelry maker, famous for its Hawaiian Plumeria flower design, wins major judgment against imitator. $2.3 million judgment equals gross sales gained by imitator from selling Plumeria jewelry

LOS ANGELES – August 29, 2006 – Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro LLP (JMBM), one of California’s foremost full-service law firms, today announced that it successfully represented its client, Hawaii-based Cosmos Jewelry Ltd. now known as Denny Wong Designs —makers of the highly recognizable and federally registered Tropical Memories Plumeria flower jewelry—in securing $2.3 million in damages, a permanent injunction and an award of its attorneys’ fees against a Los Angeles company and its owner for trade dress infringement and unfair competition. Trade dress protects the distinctive image of a product like the look of the famous Coke® bottle.

"We are a small, family-run business and we are very proud of the uniqueness and quality of our work and that’s why we fought to defend our famous jewelry design,” said Denny Wong, owner of Denny Wong Designs. “These types of cases can be complicated, but our legal team clearly laid out the facts and showed that copycats can’t win.” Mr. Wong, a Hong Kong immigrant, runs and owns award-winning Denny Wong Designs.

Denny Wong designs a unique line of jewelry inspired by the Plumeria flower that is native to the Hawaiian Islands. Denny Wong Designs sued Los Angeles-based jeweler Alan Hon and his company, Po Sun Hon, Co., for making and selling copies of this unique line of jewelry.

"This ruling should discourage other potential trade dress infringers," said Rod S. Berman chairperson of JMBM’s Intellectual Property Group and Denny Wong’s long time intellectual property attorney. “We were able to obtain a Federal Trademark Registration for the 3-D appearance of Denny Wong’s plumeria design, and this too factored into the win. It is critical for jewelry designers to fully use intellectual property laws to protect their investments and market share."

The case, Cosmos Jewelry Ltd. vs. Po Sun Hon Co., was decided in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. It is the second victory for their client by JMBM. Stanley Gibson, a partner for JMBM’s Litigation Group, tried the case, while his wife, former JMBM attorney Elizabeth Gibson, and Mr. Berman, handled the successful settlement of the first JMBM win for Denny Wong several years ago. Mr. Gibson has handled numerous other multi-million dollar trials and related litigation involving technology and intellectual property.

"It is gratifying that the judge saw the evidence in our favor and allowed us to present witnesses via live video conferencing from Hawaii," said Mr. Gibson. "It was also an honor to present Denny Wong’s case at trial and achieve such a significant result."