It’s New York Fashion Week: Let’s Look at Fashion Trademarks

by T+B Blog Team on September 3, 2014

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week starts tomorrow in New York City so we thought it was time to take a look at recent fashion trademark stories.

First up is designer Roberto Cavalli, who is being sued for copyright infringement and violations of the Lanham Act by three graffiti artists who claim their work was used in his Just Cavalli collection without permission. The complaint says that Cavalli superimposed the Just Cavalli name in “spray-paint style” on a representation of the artists’ mural, creating an impression that Cavalli was the piece’s original creator. The artists claim this has resulted in damage to their “street cred.” They’re also suing the retailers who sold the clothing line: Amazon, Nordstrom, and online shoe website, Zappos.

Meanwhile, an Atlanta, Georgia-based shoe designer has filed a lawsuit against Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) and Louis Vuitton North America for trademark infringement. Antonio Brown claims that Louis Vuitton’s use of nameplates on the toe boxes of its On the Road footwear infringes on his trademark. Brown’s LVL XIII (Level Thirteen) shoes, which he says are worn by many celebrities and sold at high-end retailers, feature an embedded metal plate in the front sole of the shoe. He filed a trademark for what he calls his “inherently distinctive” nameplate design earlier this year.

A Vuitton representative told the New York Daily News: “The lawsuit is entirely without merit, and the company will vigorously defend itself.”

It appears that the latest celebrity to extend their brand into the fashion business might be Rihanna. The singer has registered several trademarks that include her surname, Fenty, covering apparel, underwear, and beauty products (Fentyswimwear, Fentyapparel, Fentyclothing, and more). If the fashion line happens, it won’t be Rihanna’s first foray into retail products — she’s already the face of MAC lipstick, and has a handful of perfumes, including Rogue and Reb’l Fleur.

And, last but not least, although highly unlikely ever to appear on Fashion Week runways, there’s the Abercrombie & Fitch brand and its familiar moose logo. The company’s chief executive announced, “In the spring season, we’re looking to take the North American logo business to practically nothing.” Bye-bye, moose.

a&f

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