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Whose Soul is in Whose Bowl?
Highest Court M.D. Louisiana
Year Ended 2004
Plaintiffs Food Manufacturer(s)
Professional Chef(s)
Defendants Food Manufacturer(s)
Robinson, Smokey
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Smokey Robinson, one of the original Miracles and among the most prominent Motown figures, was sued by Chef Johnny "Jambalaya" Percle, who alleged that Robinson's "The Soul Is In the Bowl" trademark, as used with gumbo, red beans and rice, and jambalaya, infringes Jambalaya's "Soul in Yo Bowl" trademark used with picantes, gumbos, roux, stews, red beans and rice, and jambalaya. (Plaintiff Percle also hosts his own radio show and has a band called Cajun Lightfood Band, both of which are probably awesome.) After Robinson's food line was released, Percle sued, but Smokey argued the court lacked personal jurisdiction. In an interesting and novel argument, Plaintiff argued that Smokey's advertising campaign, which continually links his products to New Orleans, was a sufficient contact with Louisiana to justify exercising jurisdiction, though Smokey's website, which is accessible in La. does not allow users to purchase directly from the site. The court disagreed with Jambalaya's assertions, holding that Smokey did not have a continuous contact with the state and did not "purposefull avail" himself of the forum's laws. A major justification for its holding was that Smokey's website was "passive," not "interactive," and thus could not form the basis for jurisdiction. - LSW

Legal Issues
Conflicts of Law Jurisdiction & Forum Personal Jurisdiction
Trademarks & Unfair Competition Federal (Lanham Act) Trademark Infringement


Opinions Percle v. SFGL Foods, Inc.
356 F. Supp. 2d 629
M.D. Louisiana , December 17, 2004 ( No. CIV.A. 04-367-B-M1 )


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Related Searches Parties
Food Manufacturer(s) ( Defendant )
Food Manufacturer(s) ( Plaintiff )
Professional Chef(s) ( Plaintiff )
Robinson, Smokey ( Defendant )

Legal Issues
Conflicts of Law / Jurisdiction & Forum / Personal Jurisdiction
Trademarks & Unfair Competition / Federal (Lanham Act) / Trademark Infringement

Courts
M.D. Louisiana (highest court)


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