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W.Va.'s Fiesta china maker files lawsuit over knockoffs

May. 08, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

NEWELL, W.Va. -- West Virginia's Homer Laughlin China Co. is suing two companies for selling what it claims are cheap Chinese imitations of its popular and collectible Fiesta dinnerware to an unsuspecting public.

The Weirton Daily Times says the lawsuit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in western Pennsylvania, where the products are being sold.

It says Hanna's Candle Co. of Fayetteville, Ark., and The Bazaar Inc. of River Grove, Ill., are selling Chinese knockoffs of the famous American brand under the name Carnaval.

Homer Laughlin alleges violations of a federal law that prohibits trademark infringement, trademark dilution and false advertising.

Neither Hanna's Candle nor The Bazaar immediately returned telephone messages Tuesday.

Homer Laughlin is the nation's largest domestic manufacturer of dinnerware, and attorney Charles Gibbons says deliberately copying other companies' products is illegal and creates confusion in the marketplace. The lawsuit says it's also causing the Newell-based china company irreparable financial harm.

Homer Laughlin is demanding monetary damages and the destruction of all Carnaval products that have not been sold, as well as the recall of advertising, catalogs and other marketing materials, including those on The Bazaar's website.