United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
I.M. WILSON, INC., Plaintiff
OTVETSTVENNOSTYOU "GRICHKO" et al., Defendants
E.K PRATTER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
I.M. Wilson, Inc. filed this trademark infringement action
against Defendants 000 Grichko, Nicolay Grishko, and Grichko
S.R.O.,  the Russian and Czech entities that
manufacture and sell ballet shoes under the name GRISHKO.
I.M. Wilson owns four GRISHKO trademarks in the United States
and the defendants own the trademark GRISHKO everywhere else
in the world. The Court granted I.M. Wilson preliminary
injunctive relief enjoining the defendants from selling
GRISHKO-branded products in the United States. The defendants
now seek an encore: for the Court to reconsider its July 25, 2019
decision to grant I.M. Wilson a preliminary
injunction. For the reasons that follow, the Court
will vacate its decision to grant I.M. Wilson preliminary
Factual and Procedural Background
considering numerous rounds of briefing, several days of
hearings, post-hearing submissions, and two prior motions to
supplement the record, the Court's memorandum granting
preliminary injunctive relief set forth extensive findings of
fact and conclusions of law. In their motion for
reconsideration, the defendants challenge only the
Court's irreparable harm analysis. Accordingly, the
relevant facts and procedural history concerning the
Court's finding that I.M. Wilson would likely suffer
irreparable harm are summarized below.
decades, I.M. Wilson was the defendants' exclusive
distributor in the United States. In 2016, the defendants
terminated the exclusive licensing agreement under which the
parties were operating, and the exclusivity of the
relationship officially came to an end in March 2018. Around
that time, the defendants began selling products directly to
U.S. consumers through the website grishkoshop.com,
 which increased their sales
activities around the holidays. This prompted I.M. Wilson to
move for a preliminary injunction on December 4, 2018 to
prevent the defendants from infringing on the U.S. GRISHKO
memorandum, the Court acknowledged that "monetary
damages very likely would have sufficed" to remedy the
irreparable harm alleged after the preliminary injunction
record initially closed. Mem. at ¶ 90 (Doc. No.
66). I.M. Wilson merely presented limited
evidence that consumers believed it was operating
grishkoshop.com and undercutting retailers'
prices. Id. at ¶ 56. It also presented
testimony that I.M. Wilson's store in New York received
only a few phone calls from consumers with inquiries related
to grishkoshop.com. Id. at ¶ 55. The
Court found that i this testimony presented,
at best, some evidence that the defendants' entrance into
the market may have resulted in a loss of control of
reputation, loss of trade, or loss of goodwill for I.M.
Wilson. Id. at ¶ 90. However, the Court was
convinced that a preliminary injunction became necessary
after Mr. Grishko sent two decision-altering communications
to I.M. Wilson's retailers. Id.
March 28, 2019, I.M. Wilson initially communicated to its
retailers that it was "facing an interruption in service
at the factory, which in turn leads to longer delivery times
for out shipments." Grishko Decl. (Doc. No. 56-1, Ex.
In response, the defendants emailed I.M. Wilson's
retailers a letter from Mr. Grishko on May 20, 2019. The
letter stated that I.M. Wilson "has made unfounded
threats of retaliation against retailers who purchase
products through anyone other than [I.M. Wilson]."
Pl's Mot. to Supp., Ex. A (Doc. No. 54-1). The letter
further stated that I.M. Wilson had limited inventory and
that Grishko Russia would no longer be providing I.M. Wilson
with genuine GRISHKO products. Id. In closing, the
letter stated, "we are confident that the Court ruling
will be issued within the coming days and that it will be in
our favor. Once the Court has denied [I.M. Wilson's]
request, we look forward to supplying you with the full range
of authentic Grishko brand products." Id.
Afterwards, the defendants emailed I.M. Wilson's
retailers a letter from Mr. Grishko on June 17, 2019. In this
letter, Mr. Grishko stated that the defendants were no longer
supplying I.M. Wilson with their shoes, that I.M. Wilson was
distributing shoes and attempting to pass off shoes as the
defendants' own, and then provided retailers with a
photographic guide of how to identify the defendants'
products. Gili Decl. (Doc. No. 60-2, Ex. B). Mr. Grishko
further stated, "We have also heard rumors that [I.M.
Wilson] has threatened to sue retailers who don't
purchase through [I.M. Wilson]." Id.
Focusing on the defendants' statements that I.M. Wilson
will sue any retailer should they purchase GRISHKO products
from any other supplier, the Court found it "difficult
to see how it is possible for a communication such as this
not to harm I.M. Wilson's reputation and
goodwill." Mem. at ¶ 94 (Doc. No. 66)
(emphasis in original). Based entirely on Mr. Grishko's
communications, the Court found that I.M. Wilson had
sufficiently demonstrated a likelihood of irreparable harm
warranting preliminary injunctive relief. Id. at
¶ 94-95. The Court accordingly enjoined the defendants
from selling GRISHKO-branded products in the United States.
purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to correct
manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered
evidence." Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d
906, 909 (3d Cir. 1985), cert, denied, 476 U.S. 1171
(1986) (internal citations omitted). A proper motion for
reconsideration must rely on one of three grounds: "(1)
an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the
availability of new evidence; or (3) the need to correct
clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice."
Lazaridis v. Wehmer, 591 F.3d 666., 669 (3d Cir.
2010); see also Max's Seafood Cafe, by Lou-Ann, Inc.,
v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999). A
finding of "clear error" requires a "definite
and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed."
United States v. Jasin, 292 F.Supp.2d 670, 676 (E.D.
Pa. 2003) (quoting kasley v. Cromartie, 532 U.S.
234, 242 (2001)). "Because federal courts have a strong
interest in finality of judgments, motions for
reconsideration should be granted sparingly."
Continental Casualty Co. v. Diversified Indus.,
Inc., 884 F.Supp. 937, 943 (E.D. Pa. 1995) (citation
omitted). Finally, a motion for reconsideration should not
raise additional arguments that the movant "could have
made but neglected to make prior to judgment."
Holsworth v. Berg, No. 05-1116, 2005 WL 1799409, at
*3 (E.D. Pa. Jul. 26, 2005) (quoting Jasin, 292
F.Supp.2d at 677).
thorough description and analysis of the parties' initial
arguments in this dispute j regarding the
grant of preliminary injunctive relief can be found in the
Court's previous memorandum. For present purposes, then,
the Court will focus on the arguments asserted by the parties
concerning the motion for reconsideration. The defendants
argue that the preliminary injunction should be altered,
amended, or ...