Ferragamo SpA sues ex-LA Rams quarterback over same-name winery

Wed May 4, 2016 12:29pm EDT
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By Jonathan Stempel

May 4 (Reuters) - Salvatore Ferragamo SpA, the Italian luxury goods maker, on Wednesday sued former Los Angeles Rams football quarterback Vince Ferragamo, saying he infringed its trademarks by operating his namesake winery in southern California.

Consumers are likely to be confused into thinking the Ferragamo Winery and Ferragamo SpA are related, the Italian company said in a complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan, where it has stores on Fifth Avenue and elsewhere.

Vince Ferragamo was accused of illegally selling wine with the Tenuta di Ferragamo name, and festooning the website for his winery with images of Tuscany and Italian countryside, even though it is located in Orange Park Acres, California, near Los Angeles.

Ferragamo SpA also challenged Vince Ferragamo's registration of the Internet domain name (www.FerragamoWinery.com), through his company Touchdown Real Estate.

"The defendants are likely to cause consumer confusion with the plaintiff, as well as to dilute the plaintiff's trademarks, which include two federally registered trademarks for wine," Ferragamo SpA said. "The defendants' acts have caused, and will continue to cause, irreparable injury to Salvatore Ferragamo."

A lawyer for Ferragamo Winery and Vince Ferragamo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuit seeks to halt any infringements, recoup triple damages and alleged illegal profits from wine sales, and have wine bearing the Tenuta di Ferragamo name thrown out.

The Ferragamo family in Italy also has a winery in Tuscany, known as Il Borro.   Continued...