Goureau v. Goureau

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Business Law

New York Law Journal

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Judge Paul Engelmayer

Olivier Goureau (Olivier) alleged that estranged wife Noemi and her children from a prior marriage—Nicolas and Stephanie—infringed his trademark rights. He also claimed they wrongfully ousted him from the joint venture that used those marks. The court granted Stephanie's motion to dismiss Olivier's claims against her as conclusory, and not plausibly alleging her involvement in the joint venture. In addition to noting that Stephanie played "at best a cameo role" in Olivier's amended complaint, the court observed that her role in the joint venture was unclear from the amended complaint. Despite alleging Stephanie's proposed equal membership in the venture, the amended complaint stated such arrangement was "never fully agreed upon." The amended complaint further fell short of alleging facts making out all required elements of a joint venture under New York law, and failed to allege Stephanie's agreement to participate in the venture. Thus the claims asserted against Stephanie were undermined. Also because plaintiffs neither adequately alleged Stephanie's joint venture membership nor alleged she otherwise owed them a fiduciary duty, no facts supported plaintiffs' claim that she owed them a fiduciary duty.

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