Martha Stewart, Emeril Sued for Selling Counterfeit Knives
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Oh dear, it looks like Martha Stewart’s in trouble again. And this time Emeril’s joining her on the chopping block, as the pair is being sued by a German trade organization for selling knives made in China as fine German steel.
The lawsuit alleges that the Emeril-branded cutlery sold on the Home Shopping Network claimed to be from Solingen, Germany, an area renowned for its steel. But the Solingen designation is a protected trademark belonging to the plaintiff, and the knives in question are actually made in China. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia owns Emeril’s line.
According to CBS, the knife blades were marked with “Emerils” and “Solingen, Germany” on one side, and “China” on the other.
“The spurious mark and designation used by Defendants in interstate commerce are identical with, or substantially indistinguishable from, the SOLINGEN Certification Mark on goods covered by the SOLINGEN Certification Mark,” the lawsuit asserts.
“These knives were described on air as having been manufactured in Solingen, Germany which is well known for excellence in knife manufacturing. That's the main reason I bought them. Under Emeril's name, on the blade it says Solingen, Germany. Turn the blade over and it says China. Even before I heard about the controversy surrounding the lawsuit over the manufacturing location, a handle broke off of one knife,” one HSN.com reviewer complained.
The German Chamber of Industry and Commerce Wuppertal-Solingen-Remscheid is suing the Home Shopping Network and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, as well as Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse as individuals, for “up to $2,000,000 for each time the knives were mentioned.”
Martha Helen Stewart (née Kostyra Polish pronunciation: [kɔ'stɨra] born August 3, 1941) is an American retail businesswoman, writer, and television personality. As founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, she gained success through a variety of business ventures, encompassing publishing, broadcasting, merchandising and e-commerce. She has written numerous bestselling books, is the publisher of Martha Stewart Living magazine and hosted two syndicated television programs: Martha Stewart Living, which ran from 1993 to 2004, and Martha, which ran from 2005 to 2012.
In 2004, Stewart was convicted of charges related to the ImClone stock trading case she served five months in federal prison and was released in March 2005. There was speculation that the incident would effectively end her media empire,    but in 2005 Stewart began a comeback campaign  and her company returned to profitability in 2006.  Stewart rejoined the board of directors of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in 2011  and became chairwoman of her namesake company again in 2012.  The company was acquired by Sequential Brands in 2015. 
Insider Trading Scandal
In June 2002, Stewart again made financial headlines, this time for rumors of insider trading. Stewart was under investigation for selling hundreds of shares of ImClone Systems just prior to the Food and Drug Administration&aposs refusal to approve the company&aposs new cancer drug. The value of the stock dropped markedly after the FDA&aposs announcement. Due to the investigation, Stewart resigned from the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange in October, just four months after she had joined.
In June 2003, a 41-page indictment charged Stewart with securities fraud, obstruction of justice, conspiracy and making false statements to prosecutors and the FBI. She pleaded innocent to all charges and stepped down as chair and CEO of her Omnimedia empire. In February 2004, a judge dismissed the securities fraud charge, but a jury found her guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and two counts of making false statements. Stewart was sentenced to five months in prison and fined $30,000 that July. She served the first part of her sentence at a minimum-security prison in Alderson, West Virginia, in October 2004.
San Diego — Martha Stewart, her company, Home Shopping Network and Emeril Lagasse were sued last week by a German regional chamber of commerce alleging they are promoting knives marked with the German “Solingen” trademark despite the knives’ Chinese origin.
The Chamber of Industry and Commerce Wuppertal-Solingen-Remscheid is a German trade association that owns the “certification mark” “Solingen” in connection with high-quality German products, according to its complaint in the Southern District of Florida filed on Sept. 11.
The Solingen trade name dates back to roughly 1853, and represents the finest quality in German cutlery and other German products, the chamber says. Cutlery solid under the Solingen name is manufactured in Solingen, Germany, and the brand name certifies that the goods its name appears on are of a certain origin and comply with very specific high standards of manufacture.
The cutlery includes knives and blades of all kinds and has been made in Solingen for centuries, with its roots in sword and dagger making. Protection under the name Solingen is provided by special legislation in Germany, the Solingen Decree, which requires that goods marked with the brand meet strict conditions.
Under the decree, anyone selling cutlery or related goods that are not made in Solingen must not give the impression to consumers that their products are made there.
Earlier this year the chamber discovered that some types of cutlery products were being distributed through HSN marked with both the Solingen name and the word “China.” After an investigation, the chamber determined that the defendants are selling and distributing different types of cutlery bearing counterfeit and infringing uses of the Solingen trademark.
The knives are marked with Emeril’s own trademark name, with “Solingen, Germany” marked on one side of the blade and “China” on the other. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. is the current owner of the Emeril brand.
“The spurious mark and designation used by defendants in interstate commerce are identical with, or substantially indistinguishable from, the Solingen certification mark,” the complaint says.
The infringing products are likely to cause consumer confusion, wrongly trade on the goodwill and reputation of the Solingen mark, and have unjustly enriched their makers and distributors, according to the chamber.
Stewart, Lagasse and the companies have “disparaged and tarnished” the trademark, the complaint says. Moreover, the counterfeit products are of much poorer quality than the genuine article, as customers have complained of knives rusting and breaking in half, it says.
Lagasse in particular is well aware of the sanctity of the Solingen name, having teamed up with German cutlery company Wüsthof Dreizackwerk KG in 2002 to produce a line of co-branded products. Wüsthof is a well-known company with a factory in Solingen, and properly uses the trademark on their premium cutlery, according to the chamber.
Calif. man files class action over kitchen knives sold on Home Shopping Network
SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - A class action lawsuit has been filed against Home Shopping Network after consumers claim they received counterfeit knives.
Allen Moshiri claims the "Emeril" branch kitchen knives sold by HSN are counterfeit and not the high-quality products made in Germany as advertised, according to a complaint filed March 5 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
The defendants have allegedly promoted, advertised and sold various kitchen knives and knife sets under the "Emeril" brand name, named after celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, that they represented were manufactured in Solingen, German, an area world-famous for producing high-quality cutlery.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. Emeril's Homebase LLC and Emerils.com were also named as defendants in the suit.
"Contrary to defendants' representations, these knives and knife sets were manufactured in China," the complaint states. "The knives and knife sets in question. bear on one side of the blade the 'Emeril' mark and the words 'Solingen Germany' but on the other side of the blade is stamped the word 'China.'"
Moshiri claims "Solingen" is a name representative of the finest quality of German cutlery and other German products.
"Manufactured in Solingen, Germany, cutlery sold under the name 'Solingen' certifies that the goods sold under that brand are of a certain origin and comply with extremely high and specific standards of manufacture," according to the suit. "The products made in Solingen are of a particularly high quality with high-grade materials, made by qualified workers and known for excellence in craftsmanship."
Moshiri claims he purchased a five-inch Santoku Japanese chef's knife through Home Shopping Network on July 8, 2012, after seeing the advertisements about the knife.
Shortly after Moshiri received the knife, it began to rust and the blade dulled, according to the suit.
Moshiri claims that if he had known the truth about the quality of the knife and where it was made, he would not have bought it.
Moshiri is seeking for an order certifying the class and appointing him and his counsel to represent the class for damages suffered by him and other class members for restitution to him and the class members for all monies wrongfully obtained by the defendants and for pre- and post-judgment interest.
He is being represented by Farrah Mirabel of the Law Offices of Farrah Mirabel and J. Kirk Donnelly of the Law Offices of J. Kirk Donnelly.
The case has been assigned to District Judge Richard Seeborg.
On Sept. 11, 2012, a lawsuit was filed against Stewart, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Lagasse, HSN and SED International Holdings by Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Wuppertal-Solingen-Remscheid in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida regarding the Solingen knives.
Solingen's Chamber of Commerce sued the defendants, saying Stewart and Legasse's knives were counterfeit.
"Real" Solingen knives are marked with "Solingen" on one side of the blade, not "Solingen, Germany," the suit stated.
On Jan. 28, an order for a permanent injunction was filed in the case.
In the permanent injunction, the court enjoined and restrained the defendants from using, registering or reproducing the Solingen certification mark owned by the plaintiff and from manufacturing, contracting to manufacture, assisting in manufacture, ordering, distributing, selling, importing, exporting, promoting, advertising, marketing, displaying, selling or offering to sell cutlery marked with the Solingen certification mark that does not comply with the strict conditions of the certification mark.
The defendants were also barred from falsely stating that it, or any of its products are connected with Solingen, sponsored by or associated with it or that its products are endorsed by, approved of and/or associated with the plaintiff, without Solingen's prior approval infringing or counterfeiting Solingen's certification mark and from knowingly instructing, aiding or abetting any other person or business or entity in engaging in any of these activities.
U.S District Court for the Northern District of California case number: 3:14-cv-01034
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Thanks! I hope you're right. I just remember drinking "Wolfgang Puck" coffee at a hotel and it was god awful weak brown water coffee. That with some other experiences has turned me from trusting celebrity endorsements much. Maybe Emeril has inspected them and gave his stamp of approval, what do I know!
I have a set of calphalon katana knives which are decent but not super top of the line or anything. I also have a set of emerils that my wife bought. My experience is you can put a wicked edge on almost any knife. you are just going to have to do it more often on the cheaper ones. That will shorten the lifespan but not by anything meaningful in the big picture. Whether you figure out the current angle or just use your own sharpener and potentially change the angle. try to keep it the same from here on out to minimize excess grinding.
i typically have all mine at a 20 degree double bevel except my filet (fish) knife which i have at 17.
But they denied "any willful or intentional misconduct in connection with the accused cutlery."
But in order to get the coveted seal, a knife must not only be exemplary, but also made in Soligen, a city midway between Cologne and Dusseldorf.
According to court documents, the city's sterling reputation dates back eight centuries. It was initially known as a hub of first-rate swords and daggers.
Its craftsmen have since established themselves as the premiere manufacturers of scissors, kitchen cutlery, and razors.
Deen was born Paula Ann Hiers in Albany, Georgia,  the daughter of Corrie A. Hiers (née Paul) and Earl Wayne Hiers, Sr.  Deen was 19 when her father died unexpectedly aged 40, and her mother died four years later aged 44.  Prior to her father's death, Paula, aged 18, married Jimmy Deen and in 1967 they had their first son James ("Jamie"), and in 1970 a second son Robert ("Bobby") was born. In her 20s, Deen suffered from depression and agoraphobia and began to spend more time preparing food for her family, as it was something she could do without leaving her house.  Deen's cooking style had been informed by her grandmother Irene Paul, who had taught her the art of Southern cooking  that Deen described as “real farmhouse cooking, the kind that takes all day”.  In 1989, Deen and her husband Jimmy divorced.  Needing to support herself, her two sons, and her younger brother Earl ("Bubba"), Deen tried various enterprises  before starting a catering service that she called The Bag Lady,  making lunches for office workers, which her sons Jamie and Bobby delivered. 
Following the success of Deen's home–based business she took over the restaurant in the Best Western, Abercorn Street, Savannah in 1991 and called it The Lady. In January 1996, after five years at the Best Western,  Deen, together with her sons Jamie and Bobby, opened their own restaurant, The Lady & Sons, in downtown Savannah, on West Congress Street. Within a few years, the restaurant moved to the old White Hardware building on Whitaker. Deen also opened four casino buffets they were at Harrah's Casino Tunica in Mississippi, Harrah's Cherokee casino in North Carolina, Horseshoe Southern Indiana, and Harrah's Joliet in Illinois. They were rebranded in 2013 shortly after Deen was removed from the Food Network.  In addition to these, Deen co-owned Uncle Bubba's Oyster House in Savannah Georgia. The restaurant closed in April 2014   and reopened in June 2017 as Paula Deen's Creek House.  In 2015, Deen opened Paula Deen's Family Kitchen in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee,  and in June 2017, opened another in the city of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at Broadway at the Beach.  In 2018, Deen opened two Paula Deen restaurants in Texas, but both closed the following year.   In 2020, Deen opened a Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen in Nashville, Tennessee,  and in 2021, another in Panama City Beach. 
In 1997, Deen self-published The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook and The Lady & Sons, Too! A Whole New Batch of Recipes from Savannah . Both cookbooks featured traditional Southern recipes.  She has since published two more, written with Martha Nesbit. Deen has appeared on QVC and on The Oprah Winfrey Show (first in 2002, twice in 2007 and once in 2010). Her life story is featured in Extraordinary Comebacks: 201 Inspiring Stories of Courage, Triumph, and Success (2007, Sourcebooks). In April 2007, Simon & Schuster published Deen's memoir, It Ain't All About the Cookin'. She launched a lifestyle magazine called Cooking with Paula Deen in November 2005,  which claimed a circulation of 7.5 million in March 2009.  As of 2021, the magazine is still being published monthly. In 2015, Paula Deen Ventures signed a distribution agreement with Hachette Client Services for future cookbooks.   In 2019, Deen released her latest cookbook, Paula Deen’s Southern Baking. 
Deen's relationship with Food Network began in 1999, when a friend introduced her to Gordon Elliott.  Elliott took her through the city for a series of Doorknock Dinners episodes. Deen was invited to shoot a pilot named Afternoon Tea in early 2001. The network liked it, and eventually gave Deen her own show, Paula's Home Cooking, which premiered in November 2002. Paula's Home Cooking was originally taped in Millbrook, New York at Elliott's home,  and later, recorded at Deen's own home in Savannah, Georgia. 
Deen presented two more Food Network shows, Paula's Party and Paula's Best Dishes.  Paula's Party premiered on the Food Network in 2006  and Paula's Best Dishes debuted in June 2008.  A televised biography of Deen was aired as an episode of the Food Network's Chefography program, in March 2006. 
On June 21, 2013, due to a controversy regarding Deen's admission that she had used racial slurs in a social media post, The Food Network announced they would not renew her contract.  In March 2015, Deen launched the Paula Deen Channel on Roku.  In September 2015, Deen was announced as one of the celebrities to compete on the 21st season of Dancing with the Stars. She was paired with professional dancer Louis van Amstel.  The couple was eliminated in the sixth week of competition, finishing in 9th place overall. In October 2016, Deen launched a syndicated television show, Positively Paula. Deen also appears on the home shopping network ShopHQ selling a variety of merchandise including kitchen appliances and food products.
On April 7, 2021, it was announced that Paula Deen is set to join Masterchef as a guest host for the 11th season premiering in June 2021. Deen, along with other well–known cooks, such as Emeril Lagasse, will join Gordon Ramsay to mentor 15 home cooks through a series of challenges. 
In 2004, Deen married Michael Groover (born 1956), a tugboat captain in the Port of Savannah, Georgia.  Deen has two children from a previous marriage, as does Groover. The wedding was featured in a Food Network show in 2004 and took place at Bethesda Academy in Savannah. 
Paula is a supporter of Bethesda Academy, and asked Old Savannah Tours to donate $1 to the organization for each ticket purchased for the Paula Deen Store ticket sale. 
Deen made her film debut in Elizabethtown (2005), starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. She played the aunt of Bloom's character, and her cooking was featured. A Food Network special, Paula Goes Hollywood, aired in conjunction with the film's premiere. 
In June 2007, Deen won a Daytime Emmy Award (Outstanding Lifestyle Host) for Paula's Home Cooking.  In October 2010, she was selected as the Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade, and presided over the 2011 Rose Parade before the Rose Bowl Game on January 1, 2011. 
Use of sugar in recipes Edit
Deen was criticized for her use of sugar by Christina Pirello, a "natural food" advocate, and television chef.  Cookbook for the Lunch-Box Set, a cookbook aimed at children, was criticized by Barbara Walters saying of the book, "You tell kids to have cheesecake for breakfast. You tell them to have chocolate cake and meatloaf for lunch. And french fries. Doesn't it bother you that you're adding to this?" Paula Deen replied "All things in moderation."  Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain commented in 2011 that he "would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it's OK to eat food that is killing us".  On January 17, 2012, Deen announced that she had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes three years before. Deen became a paid spokesperson for the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk which produces drugs for that disease. 
Racial slur controversy Edit
In June 2013, Deen was sued by Lisa Jackson for racial and sexual discrimination.  Jackson said that Deen made derogatory remarks regarding African Americans.  Jackson also said that Deen mused about wedding plans for her brother with a "true Southern plantation-style theme" with black male servers but rejected the plans "because the media would be on me about that". The case was heard in August 2013, with the judge dismissing the suit with prejudice.    Both sides agreed to dismiss the lawsuit "without any award of costs or fees to any party".   Deen stated in her deposition that she had used the "N-word" at times.      Specifically, she recalled telling her husband about an incident "when a black man burst into the bank that I was working at and put a gun to my head. . I didn't feel real favorable towards him."  Asked if she had used the word since then, she said: "I'm sure I have, but it's been a very long time [. ] maybe in repeating something that was said to me . probably a conversation between blacks. I don't – I don't know. But that's just not a word that we use as time has gone on. Things have changed since the '60s in the south." 
In the time between the filing of the suit and the suit being dismissed, Deen had cookery programs, publishing deals and endorsement contracts cancelled by Food Network,  Smithfield Foods,  Walmart,  Target, QVC,  Caesars Entertainment,  Novo Nordisk,  J.C. Penney,  Sears/ Kmart,  and her then-publisher Ballantine Books  however, several companies have expressed their intent to continue their endorsement deals with Deen.  During the same time, sales of Deen's cookbooks soared.  Former US President Jimmy Carter urged that Deen be forgiven, stating, "I think she has been punished, perhaps overly severely, for her honesty in admitting it and for the use of the word in the distant past. She's apologized profusely." 
I Love Lucy controversy Edit
In July 2015, Deen faced controversy over a Halloween picture from 2011 in which Paula was dressed as Lucy Ricardo played by Lucille Ball while her son Bobby was dressed as Lucy's Cuban husband Ricky Ricardo, played by Desi Arnaz, in brownface makeup, along with Gordon Elliott who was not in costume.   The photo was taken from a holiday-themed episode of her former Food Network show Paula's Best Dishes with a tweet mimicking Arnaz's accented English on the show.  The material was taken down quickly.
- Vegetable oil, for brushing
- 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons)
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
Brush a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with oil. Line with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang on the long sides. Brush parchment with oil set aside.
Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 9 minutes.
Meanwhile, put 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes.
Attach bowl with gelatin to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin mixture. Gradually raise speed to high beat until mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with an offset spatula. Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours.
Sift 1 cup confectioners' sugar onto a work surface. Unmold marshmallow onto confectioners' sugar remove parchment. Lightly brush a sharp knife with oil, then cut marshmallow into 2-inch squares. Sift remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar into a small bowl, and roll each marshmallow in the sugar to coat.