Ross Dress for Less sues landlord over sign

By Travis Zuellig | Jan 31, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO — Two retail corporations are suing their landlord for alleged violation of trademark, violation of state unfair competition laws and breach of contract over “space for lease” sign on the outside of the store.

Ross Dress for Less, Inc. and Ross Stores, Inc., filed a lawsuit on Jan. 10, 2015 in the Northern District of California District Court San Francisco Division against Daly City Partners II, L.P. and Prism Capital Corporation.

According to the claim, Daly City and Ross Stores entered into a lease for a store in 1997 and Ross Dress for Less eventually took over the store. The lease had an initial 10-year term with two five-year extension options. The lease allegedly entitled Ross to exclusive use of the store, which includes the exterior walls. An article of the lease also purportedly allows Ross to post signs while Daly City cannot.

According to the lawsuit, Daly City posted a “space for lease” sign on the outside of the store without the plaintiff's consent. The defendant allegedly refused to take the sign down and Ross subsequently removed it. The plaintiffs claim the sign was a violation of Ross’s trademark rights because it included the phrase "Ross Space" which hinders their trademark.

Ross is seeking at least $75,000 for violation of the trademark rights. The plaintiff is also seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary and permanent injunction.

Glenn Zwang and Ivo Keller of San Francisco-based Bechalter Nemer represent the plaintiff.

Northern District of California District Court San Francisco Division Case 315-cv-05640-PSG

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