Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sonia Sotomayor, destroyer of infringing goods

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire blog has the scoop:

By the mid-1980s, [Sotomayor's law] firm [Pavia & Harcourt] had accumulated thousands of the illegal knockoffs [of Fendi handbags] through seizures, and was looking for a way to show the U.S. public that the brand name was being protected.

With Sotomayor in charge, the firm decided in 1986 to stage a bonfire – to be known as the “Fendi Burn” – in the parking lot of the Tavern on the Green restaurant. There was a catch, however: the New York Fire Department refused to permit it.

So the firm decided on the next best thing, crushing the items in garbage trucks, in an event that came to be known as the “Fendi Crush.”

“In the presence of the press…we threw masses and masses of handbags, shoes, and other items into these garbage trucks,” [Managing Partner George] Pavia recalled today. “It was the pinnacle of our achievement, and Sonia was the principal doer.”

Read the whole thing for some fascinating detail on Sotomayor's previous life as an IP litigator.

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