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Perfume Pitch Stirs Elizabeth Taylor’s ‘Passion’

February 2, 1988

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ Elizabeth Taylor says there can be no imitation of her Passion - no copy of her perfume, that is.

Miss Taylor is suing Westport Laboratories Inc. of Fairfield and its president, W.E. Sanford, accusing them of trying to cash in on ″Elizabeth Taylor’s Passion″ fragrance with a cheaper product.

Westport has agreed to abide by a temporary restraining order barring it from shipping any more of its Fever cologne at least until next week, Ronald J. St. Onge, a lawyer representing the company, said Tuesday.

Meantime, the two sides will try to reach agreement regarding further disposition of the suit, St. Onge said.

Other plaintiffs in Miss Taylor’s suit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Haven, include Elizabeth Taylor Cosmetics Co. Inc. and Chesebrough-Pond’s Inc. of Greenwich, which manufactures the Passion products.

They are asking U.S. District Judge Ellen B. Burns for a permanent injunction prohibiting Westport Laboratories from selling Fever in its present packaging.

The plaintiffs also accuse Westport Laboratories of violating the U.S. Trademark Act, the state Unfair Trade Practices Act and Miss Taylor’s right to privacy.

″The defendants have boldly encouraged retailers in Fever sales bulletins to ″profit from the record-breaking launch of Elizabeth Taylor’s Passion,″ the complaint reads.

The plaintiffs claim that Fever carries the same violet, lavendar and gold art-deco motif and packaging as does Passion.

Passion’s packaging, advertising and promotional materials are dominated by the colors lavender and gold ″to reflect the well-known fact that violet is the color of Miss Taylor’s eyes,″ the suit says.

St. Onge said Westport Laboratories’ Fever spray cologne sells for about $7.50 an ounce. The Passion eau de toilette spray sells for $25 for 1.5 ounces, said Connie Kain, Chesebrough-Pond’s manager of public relations.

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