Real Housewife of N.J. Star Off Hook for $8.6M to Vineyard Vines

By Bernie Pazanowski

Vineyard Vines LLC isn’t entitled to $8.6 million in statutory damages from Real Housewife of New Jersey Margaret Josephs, the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut said Dec. 5.

Josephs owns MacBeth Collection LLC, a competitor of Vineyard Vines that violated a settlement agreement in a trademark infringement suit.

Vineyard Vines’s recovery from MacBeth is limited to $500,000 under the terms of the agreement, the opinion by Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam said.

Vineyard Vines accused MacBeth of infringing its whale trademark. Under the settlement, MacBeth agreed to pay $300,000 in damages and was enjoined from allowing any further infringement of the mark.

Vineyard Vines subsequently proved MacBeth didn’t pay the whole $300,000 and allowed one of its licensees to continue selling infringing products.

Though Vineyard Vines could recover the $500,000 in liquidated damages, statutory damages were off the table, the court said. Vineyard Vines can’t collect both types of damages and it elected to include liquidated damages in the agreement, it said.

Josephs’s companies are in bankruptcy, but she may remain personally liable for the outstanding judgment, the court said.

Gilbride Tusa Last & Spellane represented Vineyard Vines. Troutman Sanders LLP represented MacBeth.

The case is Vineyard Vines, LLC v. Macbeth Collection, LLC, 2018 BL 448610, D. Conn., No. 3:14CV01096(SALM), 12/5/18.