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PELONIS WINS JUDGMENT IN TRADEMARK CASE; APPEAL FILED.

BUFFALO, N.Y.-A federal district judge here has ordered Del-Rain Corp. in Niagara Falls, N.Y., to cease selling or promoting Pelonis space heaters. The court also ordered Del-Rain to pay Malvern, Pa.-based Pelonis USA Ltd. more than $4 million for breach of contract and legal fees. Del-Rain has filed a notice of appeal and obtained a restraining order in a New York state court to stay the order. A hearing on that order is scheduled for Nov. 6.

At issue is who owns rights to the Pelonis name. The conflict dates back a dozen or more years through a chain of events, including closed and bankrupt companies. Del-Rain actually was the plaintiff beginning in 1994 and Pelonis USA countersued.

The trial was held nearly a year ago, but Judge William Skretny issued his decision only last month. He concluded Del-Rain abandoned its rights to the name in 1993 and Pelonis USA was the rightful owner.

Del-Rain's attorney, Joseph Trojan of Trojan Law in Beverly Hills, Calif., faulted Skretny's decision that his client showed intent and actual abandonment. "There never was a time Del-Rain was not selling Pelonis heaters," claimed Trojan. He added the company "will be in business; we are continuing to distribute Lifetime[-brand] heaters."

"We have spent $10 million in advertising the Pelonis name," said Eliza Lee, Del-Rain's owner. "There should be justice."

But Sam Pelonis, president of Pelonis USA, countered that following its purchase from bankruptcy, Del-Rain was obligated to pay licensing fees for the name and did not.
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Author:Beatty, Gerry
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 23, 2000
Words:255
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