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Nolan Richardson
Nolan Richardson

Kohler Where To Buy


We have a Kohler Store where I live, and I asked that exact same question when I was there yesterday. Here is what the saleswoman told me, but remember this is a salesperson trying to make a living. So take this for what it is worth.




kohler where to buy



As far as quality, here is what she told me. Places like Home Depot order certain items at certain price points (rather than carrying the entire Kohler line), and I have seen some items that say they are Kohler products made exclusively for Home Depot. So, for faucets, everything that is sold in The Kohler Store is fully made from brass, whereas certain faucet parts of some Kohler products purchased from HD are made of plastic.


Not necessarily brass, some specify "metal" construction, and according to Kohler, that does not mean brass. In fact, Kohler had a video on their site where they were describing a faucet as being "all brass" construction, yet the specs said "metal construction." When I inquired about it, they confirmed that it was not brass and said the video would be removed. If things like all brass construction are important to you, check the specs carefully using the exact model number (including any letters) you intend to purchase.


That being said, we have seen examples of models in BBS stores with plastic parts where the same parts are metal in the regular models. It's pretty rare, though, and we're not at all sure that the reason is the company changed the faucet over time and the non-BBS faucet was manufactured earlier while the parts were still metal. Due to price pressure, even very good faucets now have plastic parts, generally in areas of the faucet like aerators where the strength of metal is not needed. Except for the cheapest economy-model faucets, plastic parts do not affect a faucet's performance if used properly.


About Kohler PowerA global force in power solutions since 1920, Kohler manufactures engines and complete power systems, including generators (portable, marine, residential, commercial and industrial), automatic transfer switches, switchgear, monitoring controls, and accessories for emergency, prime power and energy-management applications all around the world. The business is committed to reliable, leading edge power-generation products, clean energy solutions, as well as comprehensive after-sale support. For more details, please visit kohlerpower.com


About Kohler Co.Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wisconsin, Kohler Co. is one of America's oldest and largest privately held companies comprised of more than 40,000 associates. With more than 50 manufacturing locations worldwide, Kohler is a global leader in the design, innovation and manufacture of kitchen and bath products; luxury cabinetry, tile and lighting; engines, generators, and clean energy solutions; and owner/operator of two, five-star hospitality and golf resort destinations in Kohler, Wisconsin, and St. Andrews, Scotland. Kohler's Whistling Straits golf course recently hosted the 43rd Ryder Cup. The company also develops solutions to address pressing issues, such as clean water and sanitation, for underserved communities around the world to enhance the quality of life for current and future generations. For more details, please visit kohlercompany.com


Finally, the defendants argue that dilution protection should not cover trade dress, especially, where, as here, plaintiffs are competitors of Lund and seeking protection for the design of a like product. The extension of such protection, they argue, violates the Patent Clause of the United States Constitution. As described elsewhere, I will reserve defendants' constitutional claims for further briefing.


However, if Lund's design objective was "primarily aesthetic," as the plaintiffs admit of the VOLA, then the VOLA's design does not meet the test. As such, it is not "primarily" intended as source identification.[17]Knitwaves, 71 F.3d at 1009; see also Atlantis Silverworks, Inc. v. 7th Sense, Inc., 42 U.S.P.Q.2d 1904, 1997 WL 128403, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. March 20, 1997) (holding that where a product's "design inherently is primarily aesthetic" and "[e]specially in the absence of evidence that the plaintiff chose the design to indicate origin, it lacks the distinctiveness to qualify for trade dress protection.")


Lund has been using essentially the same design for the VOLA since 1969. To many interior designers and magazine editors, the VOLA is known as a "Kroin faucet." The VOLA is on display in Design Collections in museums such as the Museum Of Modern Art ("MoMA"), in New York City, where it was once for sale in the museum shop. Whether it is called the Kroin faucet, or the VOLA (or the Jacobsen, after the architect who designed it), there is sufficient evidence in the record for me to conclude that purchasers of high-end bathroom fixtures, including interior designers, now know the VOLA by sight. Consumers are moved to purchase the VOLA not just because it looks good, but because its design conveys status related to its unique source.[19]


Defendants argue that because the VOLA is known by many names, the mark, in this case its design, does not serve primarily to indicate a single, unique origin or sponsor of the product. At this point in time, defendants' argument is not persuasive.[20]See TEC Eng'g Corp. 927 F. Supp. at 534 (D.Mass.1996) (citing Essie Cosmetics, Ltd. v. Dae Do Int'l, Ltd., 808 F. Supp. 952, 959 (E.D.N.Y.1992) (where there are different trade names for a given product, the inquiry remains whether such sales "dilute the inference of its origins")). Enough money and effort has been invested in promoting the VOLA's design that it is recognizable as coming from a unique source, albeit through a variety of distributors. In short, whatever people may call the VOLA, the primary significance of the VOLA design, to the relevant public, is as a high-end product, coming from Lund.[21]


As the Astra court held, the inquiry concerning classes of prospective purchasers can be "critical." 718 F.2d at 1206. "If likelihood of confusion exists, it must be based on the confusion of some relevant person; i.e., a customer or purchaser." Id. Thus, "a court called upon to assay likelihood of confusion must ponder the sophistication of the class, thereby taking account of the context in which the alleged infringer uses the mark." Winship Green, 103 F.3d at 204 (citing Astra, 718 F.2d at 1206-07). According to the evidence offered by both sides, people who purchase high-end faucets tend to use interior designers, who, in turn, are more likely to be aware of the differences between the two products. Moreover, potential purchasers of either faucet are unlikely to install the products themselves. Given the nature of the market, somewhere along the line, the person responsible for the purchase is likely to know that what they are getting is a Kohler faucet as opposed to a VOLA, a fact which weighs in favor of the defendants. Likewise, both products are sold through similar channels of trade by distributors aware of the differences between the two faucets.


The dissimilarity of the marks, particularly to the sophisticated market, is a third factor in favor of a finding that there is no likelihood of confusion. Despite superficial similarities, the rounded and tapered bonnets on the Falling Water, and the operation of its handle, described elsewhere, constitute obvious differences. Applying the Pignons court's observation on similarity, "that in certain circumstances, otherwise similar marks are not likely to be confused where used in conjunction with the clearly displayed name and/or logo of the manufacturer," 657 F.2d at 487, I am unpersuaded that point-of-purchase consumers will confuse the Falling Water for the VOLA. This finding is supported by the fact that the housemarks, VOLA and Kohler, are clearly dissimilar and prominently displayed on each product.[26]See R.G. Barry Corp. v. A. Sandler Co., 406 F.2d 114, 116 (1st Cir.1969) (finding conjunction of housemark with contested trademark to be of "exceptional significance").


At the most general level, blurring is "concerned with an injury to the mark's selling power ...." Clinique, 945 F. Supp. at 561; Ringling Bros., 955 F. Supp. at 614 (noting that blurring is different from "source confusion"). Blurring occurs "where the defendant uses or modifies the plaintiff's trademark to identify the defendant's goods and services, raising the possibility that the mark will lose its ability to serve as a unique identifier of the plaintiff's product." Hormel Foods Corp. v. Jim Henson Productions, Inc., 73 F.3d 497, 506 (2d Cir.1996) (quoting Deere & Co. v. MTD Prods., Inc., 41 F.3d 39, 43 (2d Cir.1994)); see also H.R.Rep. No. 374, 104th Cong., 1st Sess. at 2 (1995), reprinted in 1995 U.S.C.C.A.N. 1029, ("The purpose of [ 1125(c)] is to protect famous trademarks from subsequent uses that blur the distinctiveness of the mark ... even in the absence of a likelihood of confusion."). Indeed, Congress simply defined dilution as a lessening of the capacity of the famous mark to distinguish and identify goods "regardless of the presence or absence of (1) competition between the owner of the famous mark and other parties ...." 15 U.S.C. 1127 (emphasis added).[30]


Predatory intent also weighs in favor of a finding of a likelihood of blurring. "The likelihood of blurring is increased where a junior mark is used in the hopes of benefitting from its similarity to a famous mark." Ringling Bros., 955 F. Supp. at 620. While Slothower and Kohler may not have tried to copy the VOLA exactly, there was no question, according to the evidence, that Kohler would benefit from the similarities between the two products. In fact, Kohler admitted in its November 22, 1994, letter to Lund, that it was "interested in the possible purchase of this product and potentially others that you may have in your offering for resale under our brand name in the United states." (emphasis added) Use of the VOLA in advertisements for Robern's sinks, after Robern stopped selling the VOLA faucet (having replaced it with the Falling Water), further suggests that Robern's message to consumers may well have been that the Falling Water is just as good as the VOLA they used to sell. 041b061a72


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