Greeting Card Makers Reach Agreement
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Hallmark Cards announced Monday that it has settled its two-year legal battle with a small Colorado greeting card maker that contended Hallmark was copying its designs.
Hallmark lost a bid in the U.S. Supreme Court last week to overturn an injunction prohibiting the Kansas City-based greeting card giant from distributing 83 cards in its Personal Touch line.
Blue Mountain Arts of Boulder, Colo., filed suit in July 1986 seeking $50 million in damages from Hallmark for allegedly copying the smaller company’s designs. Blue Mountain alleged that Hallmark’s Personal Touch line of greeting cards was deceptively similar to Blue Mountain’s ″Airebrush Feelings″ and ″WaterColor Feelings.″
The case had been scheduled to go to trial Jan. 2 in U.S. District Court in Denver.
Asked if any payment to Blue Mountain was involved in the settlement, Hallmark spokesman Steve Doyal said: ″Any financial settlement, if there is any, would be confidential.″ He said the settlement would be filed in the Denver court Monday.
Blue Mountain officials weren’t immediately available for comment on the settlement.
Hallmark said one of the key points in the agreement with Blue Mountain was that it will introduce a new card line with a new name to replace Personal Touch. Hallmark said it also agreed not to develop products similar in appearance to Blue Mountain’s.
Hallmark also agreed in the settlement not to pressure its outlets to refuse Blue Mountain products for sale. It also said the agreement provides that neither side made any admission of liability or wrongdoing.
″We have found common ground with Blue Mountain because we are interested in promoting fair competition while protecting both companies’ trademarks,″ said Irv Hockaday, president and chief executive officer of Hallmark. ″We are confident that we have arrived at an agreement that benefits the consumer and that places ultimate faith in the competitive process.″