CVS, Family Dollar sued over perfume knock-offs

NEW YORK Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:36pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Estee Lauder Cos Inc on Wednesday filed a federal lawsuit against CVS Caremark Corp, Family Dollar Stores Inc and a Brooklyn-based fragrance maker, claiming the stores have sold knock-offs of its brands.

The suit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan accused CVS and Family Dollar of offering imitation products, made by Preferred Fragrance Inc, that used their actual registered trademarks or confusingly similar names.

Estee Lauder and its Clinique Laboratories unit took particular issue with titles like "Impression of Happy by Clinique" and "Impression of Beautiful by Estee Lauder."

The suit accused the stores and perfume maker of trademark infringement, false advertising, diluting their trademarks and unfair competition.

It is seeking an injunction preventing the defendants from buying or selling the products, and damages of up to $1 million for each type of knock-off.

Representatives for Family Dollar and Preferred Fragrance did not immediately return calls seeking comment. A spokesman for CVS said the company had not been served with the suit and would not comment on pending litigation.

Preferred Fragrance was also sued by Estee Lauder rival Elizabeth Arden Inc in a similar 2005 lawsuit in Ohio federal court, though Elizabeth Arden later dropped the suit.

(Reporting by Emily Chasan; Editing by Braden Reddall)

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