Stanley Furniture Sues Whalen, Costco for Trademark Infringement
September 12, 2012 | 7:30 pm UTC

GREENSBORO, NC - Stanley Furniture has filed suit against Whalen Furniture Manufacturing Inc. and retailer Costco Wholesale Corp. for trademark infringement, trade dress infringement and unfair competition in regards to its MyHaven™ furniture collection. MyHaven is part of Stanley Furniture’s Young America division of youth furniture.

Filed Sept. 10 in U.S. District Court in North Carolina, Stanley’s suit claims that Whalen Furniture, doing business as Bayside Furnishings, “willfully and knowingly violated and infringed Stanley’s trademark rights in MyHaven with the intention of deceiving and misleading customers, and defendants have wrongly traded on Stanley’s goodwill and reputation.” The company states it has “suffered actual monetary damage” as a result, though a dollar amount has not yet been determined.

Stanley Furniture stated in court documents that while it promotes the fact that its Young America line of youth furniture is manufactured in America, the “infringing items” by Whalen are “manufactured overseas and in turn sold primarily through big box retailers at discount prices,” resulting in Stanley's claims of unfair competition. Whalen is selling its My Haven bunk beds through Costco.

The suit also specifies that Whalen’s My Haven bunk beds feature design and ornamental elements that are “substantially identical” to those on Stanley’s MyHaven bunk bed. “The intentional copying presumptively establishes secondary meaning for the trade dress associated with Stanley’s MyHaven bunk beds and a likelihood of confusion between Stanley’s genuine products and the infringing My Haven bunk beds,” the transcript states.

The case was referred to mediation on Sept. 11. As of Sept. 12, no reference to the My Haven bunk beds could be found on either Whalen Furniture's, Bayside Furnishings' or Costco's websites.

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