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As Bench Trials Resume in SDNY Mattel Makes Case Against BARBIE Infringers on eBay

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 21 – In a socially distanced courtroom atop the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York at 500 Pearl Street in lower Manhattan on July 21, SDNY Judge P. Kevin Castel held his first trial since mid-March.  

The witness box was enclosed in plexiglass, and half of the gallery's benches had been removed. Inner City Press was the only observer, of the four lawyers and court reporter seated in the front.  

The case involved Mattel, the toy company, suing a group of China-based eBay sellers for infringing on Mattel's Barbie trademark.

Mattel quoted "current Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor that 'by any measure, the world known BARBIE is a "famous" trademark under the Federal Anti-Dilution Act," citing Mattel Inc. v. Jcom, Inc., 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16195, *9 (S.D.N.Y. Sep. 10, 1998).  

On July 21, the bench trial took less than a hour. As Judge Castel told the defendants at the pre-trial conference, "if I sign this joint pretrial order as proposed by the plaintiffs, you will be foreclosed from calling witnesses or offering documents." (Defendants' counsel replied, "We don't intend to call any witness.")

    Judge Castel has asked for post-trial written submissions by the parties before he will rule. He thanked the court reporter for coming in in-person, and called this first bench trial "the end of the beginning, perhaps."

The docket provided that "attorneys appearing at a Southern District of New York courthouse must complete a questionnaire and have their temperature taken before being allowed entry into that courthouse." The brief trial occurred without incident. The case is Mattel, Inc. v 2012SHININGROOM2012, et al., 18-cv-11648 (Castel)


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