Oh dear, it looks like Martha Stewart’s in trouble again. And this time Emeril’s joining her on the chopping block, as the pair is being sued by a German trade organization for selling knives made in China as fine German steel.
The lawsuit alleges that the Emeril-branded cutlery sold on the Home Shopping Network claimed to be from Solingen, Germany, an area renowned for its steel. But the Solingen designation is a protected trademark belonging to the plaintiff, and the knives in question are actually made in China. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia owns Emeril’s line.
According to CBS, the knife blades were marked with “Emerils” and “Solingen, Germany” on one side, and “China” on the other.
“The spurious mark and designation used by Defendants in interstate commerce are identical with, or substantially indistinguishable from, the SOLINGEN Certification Mark on goods covered by the SOLINGEN Certification Mark,” the lawsuit asserts.
“These knives were described on air as having been manufactured in Solingen, Germany which is well known for excellence in knife manufacturing. That's the main reason I bought them. Under Emeril's name, on the blade it says Solingen, Germany. Turn the blade over and it says China. Even before I heard about the controversy surrounding the lawsuit over the manufacturing location, a handle broke off of one knife,” one HSN.com reviewer complained.
The German Chamber of Industry and Commerce Wuppertal-Solingen-Remscheid is suing the Home Shopping Network and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, as well as Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse as individuals, for “up to $2,000,000 for each time the knives were mentioned.”