Business owner sues boutique alleging copyright violation

Carol Ostrow Jun. 2, 2015, 8:52am


A Florida businesswoman brought a lawsuit against a Texas couple and their company for alleged grounds of intellectual property violation in 2014

Janice M. Riordan of Venice, Fla. filed against Seaside Chic Galveston, LLC (SCG); Michael Suis, and Dena Suis, all of Galveston, in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas on May 14, claiming trademark infringement and associated counts in a 2014 conflict.

The suit states that Riordan is the owner of Seaside Chic as of Oct. 14, 2008. The plaintiff asserts ownership of the name, its related mark, the business’ domain name and physical retail location at 217 W. Venice Ave., Venice, Fla., where Riordan sells home furnishings and related items, plus interior decorating services.

Riordan states that she has operated her business since January 2008. According to the filing, defendants Michael and Dena Suis have been managing a Seaside Chic home furnishings store at 4002 Broadway St. in Galveston, Texas since mid-2014; SCG was formed in Texas on or about Feb. 18, 2015.

The plaintiff claims that when she notified the defendants that they were infringing her rights, they disregarded the warning; and continue to expand their business allegedly using the plaintiff’s name. The complaint cites confusion in Internet search engine associations regarding the two businesses; false advertising, federal trademark infringement, and unfair competition.

Riordan seeks injunctive and declaratory relief; recovery of profits; treble damages; destruction of defendants’ signage, literature and internet content bearing the Seaside Chic mark; other judgment as deemed appropriate by the court; interest; attorney’s fees; expenses, and costs.

She is represented by Richard Schwartz and Thomas F. Harkins Jr. of Whitaker Chalk Swindle & Schwartz in Fort Worth.

Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case 3:15-cv-00110

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