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Hallmark Must Pull Cards That Rival Called Copies

November 22, 1986|Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. — A federal judge has ordered Hallmark Cards Inc. to pull a line of greeting cards from store shelves, a first-round victory for a small Colorado company in its war with the industry giant.

Blue Mountain Arts Inc. contended that Hallmark illegally copied its successful line of emotion-laden cards.

U.S. District Judge Jim Carrigan ruled late Thursday that Hallmark must pull 83 cards from its "Personal Touch" line pending resolution of Blue Mountain's $50-million lawsuit.

"The entire industry was waiting to see what would happen because Hallmark has done this to other companies," said Susan Schutz, vice president of Blue Mountain.

She said the decision "shows that artists can protect what they create. It's exactly what we were hoping for."

In granting Blue Mountain's request for a preliminary injunction, Carrigan said Hallmark's cards are so similar in appearance to Blue Mountain's that "there exists a likelihood of confusion" for the card-buying public.

Charles W. Hucker, Hallmark vice president for public affairs, said Hallmark will appeal the injunction.

"Naturally, we are disappointed in this judgment and concerned about its implications for the entire greeting card industry," he said. "The court has effectively granted Blue Mountain Arts a perpetual monopoly."

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