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Magnolia and Vine Inc. v. Tapestry, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

May 14, 2018

Magnolia and Vine Inc., Plaintiff,
v.
Tapestry, Inc., and Kate Spade, LLC, Defendants.

          James T. Nikolai and Peter G. Nikolai, Nikolai & Mersereau, P.A., appeared for Magnolia and Vine Inc.

          Dalia Beth Kothari, Will J. Orlady, and David Brandon Conrad, Fish & Richardson P.C., appeared for Tapestry, Inc., and Kate Spade, LLC.

          ORDER

          JOAN N. ERICKSEN United States District Judge

         This is an action for patent infringement brought by Magnolia and Vine Inc. against Tapestry, Inc., and Kate Spade, LLC. Six of the seven patents in suit are design patents. As to those six, Tapestry and Kate Spade moved to dismiss Magnolia and Vine's infringement claims for failure to state a claim. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Tapestry and Kate Spade argued that the design patents are invalid, that the accused products do not infringe, and that Magnolia and Vine failed to properly plead willful infringement or induced infringement. For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies Tapestry and Kate Spade's motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Magnolia and Vine “designs and sells a variety of fashion accessories including jewelry, sunglasses, footwear, caps, mittens and gloves.” Am. Compl. ¶ 1. It “also sells purses, handbags, wallets and a collection of handbags adapted to be used with a wide variety of accent covers, tassels and straps purchased by [its] customers to customize the look of the handbags.” Am. Compl. ¶ 1.

         Tapestry, formerly known as Coach, Inc., “sells premium handbags and lifestyle accessories.” Am. Compl. ¶ 2. It completed its acquisition of Kate Spade in July 2017. Am. Compl. ¶ 4. According to a Form 10-K filed by Coach with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ending July 1, 2017, “Coach owns all of the material worldwide trademark rights used in connection with the production, marketing, distribution and sale of all branded products for Coach, Stuart Weitzman and Kate Spade.” Am. Compl. ¶ 4.

         Magnolia and Vine owns U.S. Patent No. D613, 062; U.S. Patent No. D637, 399; U.S. Patent No. D611, 705; U.S. Patent No. D636, 988; U.S. Patent No. D637, 810; U.S. Patent No. D638, 627; and U.S. Patent No. 9, 198, 489. Am. Compl. ¶ 22. It asserted that Tapestry and Kate Spade infringe the patents by, for example, selling products “as part of their ‘Make it Mine Candace' collection offered under the Kate Spade trademark”; that “the sales are made by Kate Spade, but controlled by [Tapestry] because [Tapestry], as the owner of the trademark, now controls the products advertised and sold under that trademark”; and that sales of the infringing products take place in retail stores and through websites. Am. Compl. ¶ 23. Examples of the “Make it Mine Candace” collection appear in the following photos.

         (Image Omitted)

         Am. Compl. ¶ 25.

         The asserted patents

         The '062 Patent and the '399 Patent are entitled “Interchangeable handbag cover.” Each claims “[t]he ornamental design for an interchangeable handbag cover, as shown and described.” In each patent, Figure 3 “is an isolated, perspective view of the handbag cover in the closed position.” In the '399 Patent, “[t]he claimed design is shown broken away to indicate indeterminate length.” Figure 3 of each patent appears below.

         (Image Omitted)

         The '627 Patent, which is entitled “Handbag with interchangeable handbag cover, ” claims “[t]he ornamental design for an handbag with interchangeable handbag cover, as shown and described.” Figure 1 “is a top perspective view of an handbag with interchangeable handbag cover in a partially attached conformation about an ...


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