Viva! v. Adidas (2005)
Orly Degani, Esq., David Blatte, Esq.
Martin L. Fineman, Sam N. Dawood
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In this California case, plaintiffs sued defendants for injunctive and declaratory relief, claiming that defendants import the kangaroo leather in violation of section Penal Code section 653o—and thus are committing an unlawful business practice (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200 et seq.). Section 653o bans the import of products made from certain animals, including kangaroos into California. Defendants import and sell in California markets athletic shoes made from kangaroo leather. Defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that section 653o is preempted by federal law under the doctrine of conflict preemption. The trial court agreed and granted the motion. The appellate court also agreed, finding that the statute as applied to defendants in this case conflicts with federal law and with substantial federal objectives of persuading Australian federal and state governments to impose kangaroo population management programs, in exchange for allowing the importation of kangaroo products. The accompanying regulations set forth a comprehensive national policy for the protection of endangered species such as the three kangaroo species involved in this case. Application of section 653o would stand as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the objectives of Congress if applied to the defendants.
COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, FIRST APPELLATE DISTRICT, DIVISION ONE DECISION (filed 11/21/2005) (pdf file - 54.56 KB)