Samsung sued for allegedly not providing requested documents to trademark company

By Catherine Melancon | Nov 29, 2012

Richard F. Zimmerman, Jr.

BATON ROUGE – A Baton Rouge Parish trademark company is asking a district court for a permanent injunction and/or declaratory judgment against an international technology corporation that allegedly violated a contract agreement.

Haspel LLC filed suit against Samsung C&T America Inc. in the 19th Judicial Court on Nov. 13.

The plaintiff claims it is the owner of the Haspel trademark and any related logos for men's, women's and children's apparel and accessories, home furnishings and other home products. Haspel states it has registered the trademark in the United States and other countries.

On April 1, 1997, Haspel and Neema Clothing Ltd. entered into a Master License Agreement that granted Neema a license to use and to sub-license the use of Haspel trademark with certain licensed items described in the agreement.

On Aug. 9, 2011, Neema agreed to assign its right to use and sublicense the Haspel trademark to Blue Lion Apparel LLC. A day later, Blue Lion entered into a Limited Trademark Sub-License Agreement with Samsung. The agreement was signed by Haspel, Blue Lion and Samsung.

The plaintiff asserts that according to the Master License Agreement, Haspel has the right to examine the books of account and records of Neema and Blue Lion. In the sub-license agreement, Samsung also had to provide access to Haspel to its information and documents.

On Oct. 19 and Oct. 29, Haspel allegedly made a formal request to Samsung via email communications to produce certain records as required by the sub-license agreement.

According to the suit, Haspel requested:

- Current inventory reports of all Haspel-labeled goods in Samsung/Blue Lion warehouse;
- Goods on order by each customer;
- Goods in production;
- Goods in transit to Blue Lion;
- All unfinished good designated for Haspel only; and
- Financial statements of Blue Lion from year-end 2011 and from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2012.

Samsung has allegedly refused Haspel access to the requested records.

Haspel claims that the access to documents is necessary so that Haspel can properly determine the accuracy of royalties owed under the Master License Agreement and sub-license agreement to determine if there have been any violations of the contracts.

The defendant is accused of failing to comply with the requirements of the sun-license agreement.

Haspel asserts that if they are not granted access to these records, they could potentially suffer irreparable damage to the Haspel trademark, damage to business reputation, loss of business opportunities and harm to competitive positions.

The plaintiff is represented by Richard F. Zimmerman, Jr. of Kantrow, Spaht, Weaver and Blitzer.

The case has been assigned to Division I Judge R. Michael Caldwell.

Case no. 616940

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