The lawsuit claims the Carnaval products trade upon the popularity of Homer Laughlin's Fiestaware, which is popular with collectors nationwide. The brand was introduced at a Pittsburgh trade show in 1936 and reintroduced in 1986.
"Fiesta dinnerware has an iconic status and claims thousands of collectors, dealers, students and historians from around the world,'' the lawsuit says. "It is also the most collected dinnerware in the United States.''
Carnaval's Art Deco designs and bold colors are "strikingly similar'' in appearance to Fiesta, the lawsuit says, although the Chinese products "are inferior copies that do not come close to meeting the standards of Fiesta dinnerware.''
Even the cardboard box "is a clear knockoff of the Fiesta dinnerware packaging,'' the lawsuit argues.
The defendants "are engaging in a systematic effort to deceive the public by unfairly competing with Homer Laughlin and its efforts to sell Fiesta dinnerware,'' the lawsuit says. "Defendants' copycat activities -- both with respect to the products themselves and their packaging -- are willful and intentional.''