Ralph Lauren Corp., et al. v. United States Polo Assoc., Inc., USPA Properties Inc., and Arvind Ltd.

Ralph Lauren Corp., et al. v. United States Polo Assoc., Inc., USPA Properties Inc., and Arvind Ltd.

S.D.N.Y. (2014)

Fitzpatrick Successfully Obtains Dismissal of Complaint for Client Arvind Ltd.

On September 4, 2014, Judge Thomas P. Griesa of the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of Fitzpatrick’s client, Arvind Limited (“Arvind”), dismissing a complaint brought by Ralph Lauren Corp. (“RLC”) alleging breach of a trademark litigation settlement agreement. The settlement agreement at issue was signed by Ralph Lauren and Arvind’s licensor, United States Polo Association (“USPA”), in 2003 and related to USPA’s ability to use Polo themed trademarks.

In July 2013, RLC brought an arbitration proceeding in India against USPA and Arvind, alleging breach of the settlement agreement by USPA’s and Arvind’s sale of products in India. Arvind then filed suit against RLC in India to address various threshold arbitration issues. The Indian court issued an interim injunction order to stay the arbitration until RLC appeared in the suit. RLC did not respond to the order, withdrew from the arbitration proceedings, and filed this suit in the Southern District of New York asserting that Arvind and USPA waived their right to arbitrate, and requested the court to enforce the 2003 settlement agreement and award damages.

In response to RLC’s complaint, both USPA and Arvind filed motions to dismiss or stay pending arbitration. Judge Griesa rejected RLC’s arguments that Arvind and USPA waived their right to arbitrate, dismissed the complaint, and sent the parties to arbitrate the matter in India as required by the settlement agreement.

The Fitzpatrick team was led by partners Edward E. Vassallo and Nina Shreve, with associates Lisa M. Mottes and Christopher D. Hopkins.