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Since 1965, the Plaintiffs, Fairytale Footsie Company Limited, have manufactured ladies’ slippers and marketed them under the unregistered trademark “Cinderella.” One of their special lines is a ladies slipper designed for holiday use. It is a soft slipper which folds over and fits into a pouch which can be easily packed in a suitcase. While the foldaway slippers have various designs and colors, the pouch is always black with a white stud fastener and “Cinderella” in distinctively ‘swirly’ white letters with a white wand and stars above the letters. About 100,000 pouches containing slippers are sold each year in the British Isles and they are one of the country’s leading gift items in the ladies’ accessories market.
In 1994, the Defendants began to market ladies’ sponge bags and make-up bags under the name “Snow White.” The bags themselves vary in design and color but they are all sold in black pouches with a white stud fastner and with the words “Snow White” in similarly ‘swirly’ white letters, although there are no stars or wand.
On learning of the Defendants’ products, the Plaintiffs applied for an injunction restraining the Defendants from passing their products off as those of the Plaintiffs. The Plaintiffs also sought damages.
The Court ruled that the public would not be deceived or led to believe that the Defendants’ goods were made by the Plaintiffs, because the parties did not share a common field of trading activity as the Plaintiffs’ reputation was limited to slippers.
What do you believe? Find three cases the may help you make a determination as to whether the Court was correct or incorrect in its ruling for the defendant.
Draft a short essay (500 word minimum) comparing the cases you found to the above-fact pattern. Properly cite to your cases in your essay.
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