Here’s what we knew, and when we knew it: On March 19, 2013, a federal lawsuit was commenced in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and assigned to the Honorable Alison J. Nathan. Even before the judge assignment, however, the case was ordered sealed by Hon. Kimba Wood. The following day, a SEALED DOCUMENT was “placed in the vault,” according to the docket, and a conference was held (in camera, one presumes). Between March 28 and April 2, then, three more SEALED DOCUMENTS were placed in the vault. Intrigue abounded. The caption of the case? ABC v. DEF. We kid you not.
At that point, one could only imagine what the case was about (though it was evidently about trademark law, inasmuch as it was designated an “840″ case on PACER). We were reminded of the old joke, “Why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 8 9!”
On April 2, however, by stipulation and order, the seal on the matter was released and the file “returned to the public portion of the Clerk’s office.” So now we know, from reading the April 3 preliminary injunction signed by Judge Nathan, that “ABC” is really Michael Kors, L.L.C., and “DEF” is really… well, a small slew of defendants, including one corporation, two business entities of unclear constitution, five John Does, and twelve URLs.
The preliminary injunction refers to a “Summons, Complaint, Temporary Restraining Order and all supporting papers,” which were served upon “Defendant” [sic]… but none of those documents is available online (so they must be still in the vault, or at least not yet scanned). Still, the evident meat of the matter is that the defendants were selling online counterfeit goods bearing one or more of the registered marks owned by the plaintiff. Which is, you know, unlawful.
Somewhat oddly, although the single document available for public consumption is styled “Preliminary Injunction,” it provides that the defendants (and their agents, servants, employees, officers, and all persons in active concert and participation with them… in other words, the usual suspects/gang of idiots) are “permanently enjoined” from doing all sorts of unlawful things (that is, those things they were doing to irk Michael Kors, L.L.C. a/k/a ABC). To protect the DEF… endants (oh! I get it now! Ha!), MK had to post a $25,000 bond, which the preliminary order continued. (Counsel for MK proposed having that bond “released,” but Judge Nathan decided that just the opposite was appropriate. It was worth a shot, though, probably.) On the other hand, all of the assets of each identified defendant was frozen, which will no doubt be helpful to MK if and when it is awarded monetary damages.
That’s all for now, kids. ABC ya next time.