Mon Cheri Bridals, Inc. v. Wen Wu et al, Civil Action No. 04-1739 (AET)
Mon Cheri Bridals, a large wholesale manufacturer of wedding dresses and social occasion dresses, brought suit in U.S. District Court in Trenton, New Jersey against a competitor, Wen Wu and various companies he owned and controlled, alleging that Mr. Wu and his companies infringed on Mon Cheri’s copyrights in its dress designs, and breached a 1999 contract between the companies.
The initial dispute arose in August of 1998 between Mon Cheri and Wu concerning dress designs. Mon Cheri discovered that Wu was marketing his dresses using photographs of more expensive versions that Mon Cheri manufactured and sold.
Wu signed an affidavit swearing that he, and the other companies he owned and controlled, would not infringe upon Mon Cheri’s rights in the future. Mon Cheri later learned that Wu continued to sell dresses that infringed upon Mon Cheri’s copyright and trade dress rights.
The case went to trial before the Hon. Anne E. Thompson, U.S.D.J. After two weeks of trial, on April 4th the jury returned a verdict in favor of Mon Cheri Bridals on its claims for copyright infringement, unfair competition and breach of contract. The jury awarded Mon Cheri compensatory damages of $324,000 and punitive damages of $375,000, for a total verdict of $699,000.