An Orange County trading company has been temporarily barred from selling T-shirts in Japan bearing the logo of Caterpillar Inc., the world’s largest maker of earthmovers and tractors.
A federal judge in Los Angeles issued a temporary restraining order earlier this month against Takashima USA of Garden Grove that prohibits sales of the imprinted shirts without Caterpillar’s permission. The order stays in effect while Caterpillar pursues a lawsuit against Takashima.
In addition, U.S. Customs has seized 26,000 shirts bound for Japan at the port of Long Beach, and Japanese authorities have confiscated an additional 25,000 shirts in Tokyo. Caterpillar estimated the value of the shirts at $1.4 million.
John Scillieri, a Santa Monica lawyer representing Takashima, said last week that his clients negotiated in good faith for the right to print the T-shirts and mistakenly thought they had permission to start production.
“It’s a clear case of language barrier between Japanese and English,” he said.