Martha Stewart’s one tough lady. Anyone that can include riding horses, making crafts, and running prison “like a boss” in their hobbies is all right by me. Prison Schmison, right Martha? Although it looks like she has new trouble on the horizon. She’s being sued for selling knock-off knives on the Home Shopping Network.
The German Chamber of Industry and Commerce Wuppertal-Solingen-Remscheid, a trade association that holds the rights to the certified Solingen knife collection, are suing Martha, Emeril Lagasse, and the Home Shopping Network for trademark infringement. The lawsuit was filed this week.
So why trademark infringement? Well, allegedly the parties have been selling knives on HSN that they claim are made in Solingen, a region in Germany known for pristine flatware. However, the knives Martha’s been hawking on HSN are actually made in China.
Martha, her company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Emeril, and the Home Shopping Network are being sued for “up to $2,000,000 for each time the knives were mentioned.” Hmm. Let’s do some math here. HSN runs, like, 24 hours a day and reaches billions of homes. If the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce Wuppertal-Soligen-Remscheid wins this lawsuit, it’s definitely going to effect her pocketbook.
Especially considering Martha’s business ventures haven’t been doing so hot lately. The Hallmark Channel recently cancelled her TV show, the September 2012 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine has close to 40% fewer ad pages than last year’s September issue, and according to Media Industry Newsletter, her company posted losses this year.
With Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO) shares at less than $3, I see a very large, very private settlement in the future. It’s always easier for celebrities to settle these matters outside of the courtroom. And it’s usually cheaper. Unfortunately it means we would have less Martha-Stewart-juice to gossip about, so here’s hoping this matter plays out with a very public trial.