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A jury found Thursday that the United States Polo Association and Jordache Limited can use horse logos that Polo Ralph Lauren said infringed on the trademarks of its famous horsemen logos. After a two-week trial, the civil jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan found that one of four logos at issue in the trial did infringe on Polo Ralph Lauren’s marks but that three others did not. In a statement after the verdict, the United States Polo Association and Jordache called the decision a “knockout victory” and said they would launch a major advertising and marketing campaign using the horse-and-rider logos. “We believe that our victory in federal court will create enormous opportunities in the retail marketplace for Jordache’s division of the USPA,” said Cliff Lelonek, president and chief executive of the division, which had been selling and marketing shirts with the polo association’s logos. Polo Ralph Lauren filed a lawsuit in 2000 seeking to stop the use by Jordache and the polo association of the four logos featuring two men playing polo on horses. The 4,000-member association stopped selling the logo shirts in 2001. David Cummings, president of USPA Properties, said use of the logos now may be expanded to apparel products other than the shirts. In closing arguments, Polo Ralph Lauren lawyer Leslie Gordon Fagen urged the jury to reject all of the polo association logos because they had already helped the defendants sell $32 million in merchandise since 2000 by infringing a “famous mark.” “In the world of fashion, there are few trademarks of greater significance and value,” he said. Fagen could not be reached for comment after the verdict. George A. Stamboulidis, a lawyer for the USPA, told jurors in closing statements that it made sense to use the horsemen because it is a common depiction of the sport of polo, so common that a dictionary even features a picture similar to the logos. He said Ralph Lauren wanted to “monopolize the marketing when it comes to the image of polo.” The jury found that a logo featuring a solid double horsemen design was likely to be confused with Polo Ralph Lauren’s logo. It concluded, though, that a solid double horsemen logo that included the letters “USPA” was not likely to confuse the public. The jury found that an additional two logos featuring the outline of two horsemen would not confuse the public and could be used. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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