Herman Miller alleges Canadian firm unlawfully sold knock-offs
Herman Miller says its Eames Chair, pictured here with matching ottoman, allegedly spawned knock-offs from Canadian firm Gold Leaf Holding.

ZEELAND, Mi. - Office furniture giant Herman Miller has sued British Columbia-based Gold Leaf Holding Ltd. for producing and selling knock-offs of its Eames furniture collection. The Eames collection is an iconic industry design.

According to court documents, Herman Miller alleges Gold Leaf Holding intentionally violated trademark law in selling, distributing, and advertising several products marketed under the Eames name.

Charles and Ray Eames’ designs have been part of the Herman Miller Collection since the 1940s.

Herman Miller specifically accuses Gold Leaf of selling six “design reproductions” of six classic Eames products, including the Eames lounge chair, molded plywood dining chair, and two versions of the Eames office chair.

Herman Miller says the actions were “intentional and with knowledge of the considerable reputation, goodwill, and fame associated with and represented by Herman Miller’s registered trademarks,” according to court documents.

Herman Miller says it sent cease and desist notices to the Canadian company on multiple occasions.

The office furniture giant has been involved in numerous other lawsuits over the past few years, some of which involved the Eames name. Herman Miller sued Modernica Inc. in 2014 and New American Inc. in 2012 over Eames imitations. In 2015, the company sued Madison Seating over its selling of used Herman Miller chairs without labeling them as being used.


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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at [email protected].