United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
LUV N' CARE, LTD.
JACKEL INTERNATIONAL LIMITED, ET AL.
L. HAYES, MAG. JUDGE
A. DOUGHTY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court are Plaintiff Luv N'Care, Ltd.'s
(“LNC”) Motion to Amend Complaint [Doc. No. 38]
and two Motions for Sanctions [Doc. Nos. 28 & 47] filed
by Defendants Mayborn Group Limited, Jackel International
Limited, Mayborn USA, Inc., Jackel China, Ltd., Mayborn Anz
Pty, Ltd., and Product Marketing Mayborn, Ltd.
following reasons, LNC's Motion to Amend Complaint is
GRANTED, Jackel's Motion for Sanctions [Doc. No. 28] is
DENIED AS MOOT in part and otherwise DENIED, and Jackel's
second Motion for Sanctions [Doc. No. 47] is DENIED.
ALLEGED FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
a Louisiana corporation with its place of business in Monroe,
Louisiana. LNC is a family-owned business that designs,
manufactures, and sells baby products under the
“Nuby” brand name.
International, Mayborn USA, Mayborn ANZ, and Product
Marketing Mayborn, Ltd., are wholly-owned subsidiaries of
Mayborn Group Limited, a privately held English company,
which is owned by Jake Acquisitions Limited. Jackel China,
Ltd., is primarily owned by Product Marketing Mayborn, Ltd.
Jake Acquisitions Limited is ultimately owned by Shanghai
Jahwa United Co. Ltd., which is publicly traded in China. The
entity Defendants, which the Court will collectively refer to
as “Jackel, ” are also in the business of designing,
manufacturing, marketing, and selling baby products. Jackel
sells its own products under the brand name Tommee Tippee.
2003, Jackel and LNC entered into a distribution agreement
under which Jackel served as the exclusive distributor of LNC
products in Great Britain, Ireland, and Gibralter. The 2003
agreement was replaced by a second agreement in 2008, which
terminated on April 1, 2010.
2008 Agreement included two provisions governing use of
proprietary designs or information:
15(B). Distributor hereby acknowledges and agrees not to copy
or utilize any of LNC's formulae, trade secrets, product
design, patents, drawings, business plans, prototypes,
packaging, procedures and methods, [or] any other proprietary
designs or information without LNC's written permission.
19. During the term of this Agreement and continuing after
the expiration or termination hereof, either party shall not
disclose or make accessible to anyone, or make use of the
knowledge or information which either party obtains or
obtained during the term of this Agreement with respect to
formulae, trade secrets, product design, patents, drawings,
business plans, prototypes, procedures, and methods [or] any
other proprietary designs or information of LNC without the
written consent of the other party.
[Doc. No. 1-6 at ¶¶ 15(B), 19].
24, 2010, LNC brought suit against Jackel alleging breach of
the 2008 Agreement by selling certain soft-spout, flip-top,
and straw cups with a silicone compression valve (“LNC
I”). That case went to trial, and jury found in favor
of LNC and against Jackel on LNC's claims of breach of
the distribution agreements and the Louisiana Unfair Trade
Practices Act (“LUTPA”). The May 22, 2013
Judgment provided that Jackel breached the 2003 or 2008
distribution agreements “with respect to Jackel's
(1) soft spout cups; (2) flip-top cup; and (3) straw
cup.” More specifically, the “Litigated
Products” identified in Exhibit A to the Judgment: (1)
First Cup; (2) Kids on the Go Active Cup; (3) Tip It Up Cup;
(4) Tip It Up Trainer Cup; (5) Tip It Up Beaker Cup; (6) Tip
It Up Sportster Cup; and (7) Tip It Up Flip Top Cup.
[Jackel's Exh. 8; Tr. 93:10-20]; [Doc. No. 1-4]. The jury
further found that Jackel's actions violated the LUTPA.
in the amount of $754, 887.64 were awarded through December
31, 2102, with pre-judgment and post-judgment interest. LNC
was also awarded costs and attorneys' fees. Judgment was
entered in favor of Jackel and against LNC on Jackel's
Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act claim, and Jackel
was awarded damages of $2, 000.00.
Jackel I Court also entered a permanent injunction enjoining
Jackel from selling any of the Litigated Products “as
well as any further versions thereof” or other
non-litigated products not in existence at the commencement
of the January 2013 trial that are copies and/or colorable
imitations of LNC's silicone compression valve, i.e.,
“(1) soft spout cups; (2) flip-top cups; or (3) straw
cups.” [LNC's Exh. 9].
before the entry of final judgement in LNC I, on May 3, 2013,
LNC filed a second state court action (“LNC II”)
in which LNC alleged that Jackel's sales of
“additional products” breached the 2008
distribution agreement and violated LUTPA. [Doc. No. 11, Exh.
D]. Jackel removed this lawsuit to federal court. LNC
voluntarily dismissed LNC II on August 27, 2013.
all parties appealed the judgment in LNC I, the appeal was
settled and dismissed on November 21, 2013. That settlement
agreement contained a reservation of rights: “Nor shall
anything within this Agreement be deemed a settlement or
withdrawal of any claims or defenses between the LNC Parties
and the [Jackel] Parties relating to [LNC II ] or the
Threatened Hard Top Cups Action or the products accused
therein, all rights with respect to which are expressly
reserved by the parties hereto.” [LNC's Exhibit 11,
p. 3; Tr. 97:10-24, 99:3-5, 99-21-25].
August 14, 2014, LNC filed a third action (“LNC
III”) against Jackel. See Luv N' Care, Ltd. v.
Jackel Int'l, Ltd., No. 2:14-cv-855, 2015 Westlaw
4734701 (E.D. Tex. Aug. 8, 2015). In that lawsuit, LNC
focused on the same hard-top cups, but added patent
infringement claims to the breach and LUTPA claims. The
district court dismissed LNC's breach of the distribution
agreements and LUTPA claims as barred by res
judicata.Id. The ...