7 F.2d 603 (2d Cir. 1925)
Plaintiff was the exclusive maker of safes that sued defendant competitor after it represented to safe customers that it could and did in fact sell plaintiff's safes when they did not have the right to do so. Plaintiff's claim was denied on grounds that the law did not recognize a competitor's right to sue absent proven damages.
- The court recognized that defendant's misrepresentation of goods was actionable as between buyer and seller, but found that a private suit between competitors would lie only if plaintiff could prove damages.
- The court posited that if plaintiff had a monopoly on the safes and their design, that defendant could only sell to customers who asked for the exclusive kind of safe by infringing on plaintiff's rights as exclusive maker.
- If a plaintiff could allege and prove those facts, the court found that plaintiff could prove lost sales by proving sales to defendant.
- In essence, the court recognized that a private suit would lie under the right set of factual circumstances for product misrepresentation and infringement as between competitors, not just between buyer and seller.
The judgment was reversed after the court found that a private action brought by one competitor against another for product misrepresentation or infringement could lie if the plaintiff could allege and prove damages by virtue of lost sales.
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