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WV Fiesta Dinnerware company says businesses created knockoffs

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A West Virginia china company is taking two other companies to court, saying their dinnerware and packaging are strikingly similar to its own.

The Homer Laughlin China Company and HLC Holding Inc. filed the suit May 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against Hanna's Candle Company, The Bazaar Inc. and John Doe.

Along with the other plaintiffs, The Homer Laughlin China Company, which is a Delaware Company with its principal business in West Virginia, seeks preliminary and permanent injunctive relief and  also wants defendants to destroy their Carnaval dishware products and packaging and to stop using their trade dress.

The suit explained Homer Laughlin's history — it was founded in 1871 as a partnership to sell pottery ware from factories in Ohio. In 1907, the company opened its Newell, W.Va., plant, the site which is now its headquarters.

Homer Laughlin, the suit continues, sells Fiesta Dinnerware and is the largest company in the dinnerware industry that still manufactures its products in the U.S.

The company says defendants are selling inferior knockoffs in their Carnaval dinnerware set that are "indistinguishable in appearance from Fiesta Dinnerware" and are "sold in packaging nearly identical to the packaging Fiesta Dinnerware is sold."

The company plaintiffs also say the three colors Carnaval offers are similar to the three of Fiesta Dinnerware's most popular colors.

"Although strikingly similar in appearance to Homer Laughlin's Fiesta Dinnerware, defendants' Carnaval product and defendants' Carnaval packaging are inferior copies that do not come close to meeting the standards of Fiesta Dinnerware," the suit asserts. "The inferiority of defendants' copy further serves to diminish the distinctiveness of the design and goodwill associated with Fiesta Dinnerware."