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Chanel Sues Smell-Alike

May 9, 1991

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Chanel is fuming over a Pittsburgh area scent maker that sells imitations of Coco and Chanel No. 5 perfumes.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, the New York-based perfume company claims Rich and Famous Perfume Co. of Monroeville is using Chanel trademarks to ″promote and advertise their cheap fragrances.″

Rich and Famous, located about 10 miles east of Pittsburgh, advertises its products as the ″World’s Greatest Perfumes″ and ″Original Designer Type Perfumes.″

The lawsuit said Rich and Famous agreed in a March 5 letter from attorney J. Lausen Cashdollar to stop using the trademark names and Chanel’s copyrighted bottle designs.

The company didn’t keep its word, court papers said.

Rich and Famous President Colette Lewis said that while her company sells imitation fragrances, they are ″billed as imitation products, not a real fragrance.″ She said her products are just as good as the costlier ones.

She said she started her company about two years ago out of her home and has two boutiques in local malls.

A Rich and Famous version of Chanel No. 5 retails for $18 for 2 ounces. The genuine article fetches about $78 a quarter-ounce.

Chanel asked for court orders to destroy all Rich and Famous products bearing its trademarks and to keep Rich and Famous from using the trademarks in the future.

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