BLOGS: Furniture Law Blog

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Monday, August 3, 2009, 10:58 PM

Fate Of "Barcelona Chair" Moving To Jury

The iconic Barcelona chair designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe lies at the heart of a dispute between Fremont, CA based Alphaville Design and Knoll, Inc. Both manufacturers sell Bauhuas style furniture. The legal conflict began in November 2007 with Alphaville filing an action seeking a declaratory judgment that its marketing and and sell of its Mies Barcelona chair does not infringe any valid and enforceable right allegedly held by Knoll. Knoll counterclaimed for trademark infringement, alleging trade dress rights in the Barcelona chair. The court recently denied cross motions for summary judgment thus sending the issue of whether Knoll has trademark rights in the chair to trial. In denying summary judgment, the court held that "[i]t is debatable whether Knoll has actually used any of the pieces as trademarks to a substantial extent, but this is a fair issue for trial." The court has not yet set a trial date.

Alphaville Chair:

Knoll Chair:

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