“Navy Chair” Case Settles

A team of Munger, Tolles & Olson attorneys settled a high-profile case on behalf of Emeco Industries, Inc. in a suit against Restoration Hardware. The team was led by Munger Tolles litigation partner Jonathan Blavin.

In October 2012, Munger Tolles filed a complaint on behalf of Emeco asserting trade dress and trademark infringement claims against Restoration Hardware based on Emeco’s rights to its iconic aluminum chair, “The Navy Chair.” As part of that settlement, Restoration Hardware has agreed to permanently cease selling the chairs that Emeco accused of infringement, and Restoration Hardware’s existing inventory of its chairs will be recycled.  

As alleged in its complaint, Emeco began production of the Navy Chair in 1944 under contract with the United States Navy, which wanted a chair capable of withstanding fire, weather, war and sailors. The Navy Chair became a modern design classic, featured in the permanent collections of art museums around the world. In the federal court action filed in San Francisco, Emeco accused the home-furnishing giant of trade dress and trademark infringement for the manufacture of its “Naval Chair” collection. The case has been featured by several media outlets, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and The Recorder.

Mr. Blavin has substantial experience in with intellectual property disputes, including claims brought under the Copyright and Digital Millennium Copyright Acts, the Lanham Act and state trademark statutes and trade secret laws.