Industry magazine publisher can be sued under Lanham Act due to allegations of financial interest in competing businesses

NY Machinery Inc. v. Korean Cleaners Monthly, No. 17-cv-12269, 2018 WL 2455926 (D.N.J. May 31, 2018)Plaintiff Lee is the President of NY Machinery (NYM), which sells washing machines and dry-cleaning products, and also owns Kleaners LLC, a magazine publication for the Korean dry-cleaning industry. Defendant Chung owns defendant TKCM, a monthly trade publication that also targets the Korean dry-cleaning industry. NYM previously advertised in TKCM, but stopped and formed Kleaners to advertise NYM’s products in his own industry magazine. TKCM, in retaliation, allegedly began a “malicious defamatory campaign” against NYM to damage their businesses and simultaneously boost their competitors’ businesses, some of which Defendant Chung allegedly has an ownership interest in. In an August 2017 issue of TKCM, NYM was allegedly referred to as “crooks” and a “fraud” in an article, and on the magazine’s cover.  This allegedly hurt…

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