Knobbe/Martens: Intellectual Property Law

Fashion & Beauty

Subscribe to Fashion & Beauty Blog

Skechers and Eliya Fight Over Shoe Design Patents Again

February 19, 2019 Brian M.Z. Reece and Jeff Van Hoosear

Eliya Inc., known for its BERNIE MEV® shoes, filed a declaratory judgment action against Skechers on January 29, 2019 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Skechers had sent a cease and desist letter to Eliya accusing Eliya of infringing on two of Skechers’ shoe design patents, U.S. Pat. No. D821,724 (the “ ‘724 patent”) and U.S. Pat. No. D810,412 (the “ ‘412 patent”):


Burlesque Designs for the Eye: Makeup Designs in Dispute

February 15, 2019 Shuchen Gong and Jonathan Hyman

On December 13, 2018, Face Lace Ltd., founded by makeup artist Phyllis Cohen to provide ready-to-wear makeup designs, filed suit in the Central District of California against Bare Escentuals Inc. d/b/a Buxom Cosmetics. Face Lace’s complaint alleged copyright infringement and trade dress infringement under the Lanham Act.



Saks & Calvin Klein Accused of Copyright and Patent Infringement

February 6, 2019 Loni Morrow and Jeff Van Hoosear

On December 28, 2018, both Calvin Klein and the parent company of the department store Saks Fifth Avenue, were sued by Wongab Corporation in the U.S.

The Crown Jewels: How to Protect Your Jewelry Designs

Knock-offs and ‘copycat’ designs are nothing new to the fashion world.

Aloha, Copyright Infringement

January 16, 2019 Bita Kianian and Ian W. Gillies

On October 23, 2018, Rube P. Hoffman, a California textile manufacturer known for their Hawaiian prints and aloha shirts, filed a copyright infringement suit in the Central District of California against Zara USA, Inc., one of the world’s largest fast fashion retailers with over 2,000 stores worldwide. The copyright infringement claim is based on alleged similarities between two of the companies’ textile designs. In the complaint, Hoffman claims exclusive rights and ownership of U.S. copyright registrations over the two textile designs at issue, and further claims that they had never granted permission, license, or consent for Zara to use the designs. Hoffman also asserts claims for Unfair Competition under the Lanham Act and California law. Hoffman demands an end to any further production, distribution, or sale of the allegedly infringing designs; the delivery and destruction of all merchandise bearing the designs; damages; and legal fees.


Divide and Conquer: How Louis Vuitton's Brand Protection Strategy Might Increase the Opportunities for Brand Owners to Combat Infringement

January 16, 2019 Victoria E. Ellis and Peter Law

On November 7, 2018 Louis Vuitton Malletier, S.A. filed a complaint in the Southern District of New York against i-Fe Apparel, Inc., Yongun Jung, and a number of presently unknown entities and individuals (“Defendants”). Louis Vuitton alleges trademark counterfeiting, trademark infringement, false designation of origin, and trademark dilution. Louis Vuitton asserts that the defendants are willfully and intentionally infringing on several of their marks within Class 25, by selling products made of inferior materials and having poor construction, at prices well below those of authentic Louis Vuitton products. In the complaint, Louis Vuitton also claims to have invested “millions of dollars and decades of time and effort” so that consumers will recognize Louis Vuitton marks throughout the world and associate the marks with high quality, luxury goods. 

Enforcing a Non-Compete Agreement? – One Size Does Not Fit All

December 10, 2018 Alexander D. Zeng and Mark Kachner

Two high-end, off-price fashion brands are duking it out over an employee jumping ship from Century 21 Department Stores, LLC to Rue Gilt Groupe.  On November 5, 2018, Century 21 sued Rue Gilt Groupe and Berenice Arcuri in New York state court. The suit is to enforce, amongst other things, Arcuri’s post-employment non-compete and confidentiality obligations to Century 21.  Though the suit was filed in New York, there is no allegation what state law governs the non-compete.  Resolution of this issue will have a significant impact on the case.


Nike's Shoe Patents Outrun Puma's Challenge

December 5, 2018 Brian M.Z. Reece and Nicole R. Townes

On May 3, 2018, Nike filed a lawsuit against Puma in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts accusing Puma of infringing seven of its utility patents related to footwear.  In an earlier post on this blog, we described some of the Nike shoe patents asserted.  Puma challenged Nike’s complaint and moved to dismiss Nike’s claims of alleged infringement as to two of the patents, specifically as to U.S. Patent No. 8,266,749 and No. 9,078,488, arguing that these two patents, which are directed to Nike’s “Flyknit®” technology, do not cover patentable subject matter.


Modern Meadow: Patenting Lab-Grown Leather

November 27, 2018 Bryan J. Johnson, Loni Morrow and Peter Law

In 2017, New Jersey based biotech startup Modern Meadow launched Zoa™, which is inspired by leather and is the company’s first brand of biofabricated materials.  Zoa™, a name derived from the Greek term for life, zoi, will feature products created with Modern Meadow’s proprietary technology.  According to the Zoa website, Modern Meadow’s first generation of materials have “the ability to be any density, hold to any mold, create any shape, take on any texture, combine with any other material and be any size.” 


Federal Circuit Weighs In on Converse's Midsole Trade Dress

November 27, 2018 Shuchen Gong and Jeff Van Hoosear

On October 30, 2018, the Federal Circuit weighed in on Converse’s Chuck Taylor trade dress infringement lawsuit. As reported in If the IP Fits, Wear It: IP Protection For Footwear – a U.S. Perspective, Converse filed over 30 lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in October of 2014, alleging trademark infringement of its famous Chuck Taylor designs by Fila, Tory Burch, Ralph Lauren, and Aldo, among others. Some of the district court cases settled in a few months, while others lasted over two years.



Attorney Finder