In the latest chapter in the saga of two children’s clothing manufacturers, we are asked to determine whether one of the manufacturers has properly brought trademark and trade dress infringement claims against the other. And, if not, whether the defending party is entitled to attorney’s fees. Bliss Collection, LLC and Latham Companies, LLC have had a long and acrimonious relationship after one of Bliss’s founders left the company to start Latham as a direct competitor. The parties have since engaged in sporadic litigation against each other.
The district court dismissed Bliss’s trademark and trade dress infringement claims. After Latham sought attorney’s fees for successfully defending against those claims, the district court declined to award fees to Latham. Both parties appealed. We find that Bliss has stated claims for federal and state trademark infringement but has not stated a claim for trade dress infringement. We also find that the district court did not err in denying attorney’s fees to Latham for defending the trademark and trade dress infringement claims. Therefore, we affirm in part and reverse in part.
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