Appellants challenged a judgment of the Superior Court of the City and County of San Francisco (California) which enjoined appellants from using a name on a cocktail sauce and awarded appellee damages in an action where appellee alleged that consumers were mislead as to the manufacturer.
Appellee owned and operated a well-known restaurant. Appellants manufactured and distributed allied products of appellants’ business of packaging and marketing fish. Appellants used their family name on a cocktail sauce. Appellee alleged that the use of the name had led purchasers to believe that the restaurant marketed the product. Los Angeles ADA attorney Appellee sought an injunction and damages. Appellants contended that they had a right to use the family name on the sauce because a family name was incapable of exclusive appropriation and could not be monopolized. The court held that the use of one’s name was not absolute. Appellants were not entitled to use the name in a trademark sense as a means of pirating the good will and reputation of appellee. Appellants had deliberately attempted to confuse and mislead the public as to the producer of the sauce. Appellee was entitled to an injunction and damages.
The court affirmed the judgment and held that, when appellants used a family name in a trademark sense to market a sauce, appellants deliberately attempted to confuse and mislead the public as to the origin of the sauce. Appellee was entitled to damages and a permanent injunction.
Defendants, city and others, appealed a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), which ruled in favor of plaintiff advertisers, declared that certain city ordinances regulating billboards were unconstitutional, and enjoined their enforcement.
The city passed ordinances that limited billboard usage and prohibited the construction of billboards. The advertisers filed a complaint alleging that the ordinances were unconstitutional. The trial court agreed with the advertisers and enjoined the enforcement of the ordinances. On appeal, the court reversed. The sole question presented on appeal was whether or not the trial court erred in determining that the distinction made in the ordinances between “point-of-sale” and “non-point-of-sale” signs rendered them unconstitutional as being discriminatory in classification. The court held that the ordinance merely limited the business of outdoor advertising, as it limited other businesses, to specified districts. The advertisers’ signs were made pursuant to the conduct of the business of outdoor advertising itself, and did not relate to the structure housing a business like an ordinary business sign. The court held that the unique nature of outdoor advertising and the nuisances fostered by billboards and similar outdoor structures justified the separate classification of such structures for the purposes of governmental regulation and restriction.
The court ruled in favor of the city and others and against the advertisers, and reversed the judgment in the action to enjoin enforcement of city billboard ordinances.