Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse are wrapped up in an international knife fight going down in the courts. Have the two celebrities been ripping off culinary arts consumers for years?
Cutting to the heart of the matter, the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce Wuppertal-Solingen-Remscheid (a seriously long name for the trade association that holds the rights to the world-famous Solingen knife collection) believes the pair are guilty of trademark infringement.
The lawsuit alleges that Martha and Emeril tricked their television viewers into believing the knives had been made in Solingen, Germany, as was inscribed on the blade. The region in northern Germany is called the "City of Blades" and is known for its world-class cutlery — a far cry from China, where the suit claims the knockoff knives were actually manufactured.
A customer complaint included in the lawsuit reads:
"I'm disappointed in the video when Emeril stated that the Santoku knife was made in Germany. This is the main reason I made the purchase. Come to find out it is made in China. That is terrible when a top chef lies to you on TV. Wish I would have known. Emeril cannot be trusted with what he advertises."
Predicting the possibility of a massive payout if the customers win the suit, Forbes reports, "That figure will certainly skyrocket, seeing that HSN runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 364 days a year, and reaches approximately 96,000,000 homes."
At up to $2,000,000 for each mention of the knives, we have to agree!
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