Friday, November 20, 2009, 6:02 AM

Former Collezione Executives Named As Defendants In AICO Case

In a development similar to cases filed in North Carolina, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey has named former Collezione Europa USA executives Paul and Leonard Frankel as defendants in AICO's copyright and patent infringement case against Collezione. The Frankels may now be held personally liable for the alleged copyright and patent infringement upon a proper showing of culpability. In its case, AICO seeks $2 million in damages from the defendants, which now include the Frankels.

AICO sought to add the Frankels as individual defendants after Collezione filed for bankruptcy in February 2008. The development tracks the naming of the Frankels as defendants in a spin-off lawsuit that resulted from copyright litigation brought by Universal Furniture. In the spin-off case against the Frankels, Universal seeks to recover the $11,225,777.10 judgment obtained against Collezione in the main case directly from the Frankels. The $11 million judgment against Collezione came down in February 2009 and precipiated Collezione's bankruptcy filing. In the spin-off case, Leonard Frankel has defaulted. The court denied Paul Frankel's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction or, in the alternative, to transfer the case to New Jersey. The spin-off case is now proceeding to the discovery phase.


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