A dancer wears a pair of Grishko pointe shoes. | Courtesy of melalouise from East St Kilda, Australia / Wikimedia Commons
PHILADELPHIA - On July 25, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued a preliminary injunction in a dispute between an international ballet shoe company and its exclusive provider in the United States.
I.M. Wilson Inc. was once the sole provider for GRISHKO ballet shoes in the United States. That is, until the defendants - OOO Grichko, Nicolay Grishko and Grishko S.R.O. (Russian and Czech companies that create and sell the GRISHKO shoes) - ended the exclusive agreement and started selling the shoes themselves. They boosted the sales volumes during the holiday season.
Wilson asked the court for a preliminary injunction that would bar defendants from using the U.S. GRISHKO trademark.
The court granted the motion and enjoined the defendants from selling GRISHKO in the United States.
“Wilson has demonstrated a sufficient likelihood of success on the merits, irreparable harm, and that the equities balance in its favor,” the court said. “It is by no means inevitable that I.M. Wilson will prevail at the next phase of this litigation, (so) the court will entertain submissions on the issue of the amount of a bond to be posted by I.M. Wilson in connection with issuance of a preliminary injunction.”
The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case or stay pending arbitration, stating that the lawsuit is protected through an arbitration clause from the licensing agreement they signed in 1992.
The court denied the motion to dismiss, stating they properly failed a claim. It also said the arbitration clause was irrelevant since that agreement was terminated, and this dispute wasn’t connected to it any way.
U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter ruled on the case.