Famous legal battles between fashion houses:
I could go on about how stunned I am to see counterfeits of BlabberCat in so many different ways. From bloggers replicating our set up/styling and content to various lifestyle brands playing around with the name BlabberCat and changing it just enough to use it for their companies to avoid legal formalities. Even after getting certain cat images, exclusively designed by illustrators for us, they are being used in other cat-related named apps and sites. But anyway lets talk about bigger problems because we are nothing in front of these big maestros and their battles. Today, knockoffs are more rife than ever before. Fast fashion companies like Zara and H&M have built multi-billion-dollar businesses reproducing the latest catwalk creations for a fraction of their original price. And copying exists among luxury brands too — in the past few years, companies including Saint Laurent have faced lawsuits.
Lets look at some of the most infamous legal fights between fashion houses.
Gucci Vs Guess: A nine-year long legal battle over the Guess logo and diamond pattern, which Gucci alleges are direct copies of its trademark, the two companies said they had reached an agreement. In 2017, the brand filed a lawsuit against Forever 21 for allegedly knocking off its trademark "blue-red-blue" and "green-red-green" stripe webbing. In November, a US district judge ruled in favour of Gucci by dismissing the fast fashion retailer's complaint against the luxury brand.
H&M, Puma Vs Forever 21: Forever 21 is clearly being noticed for all the wrong reasons it seems. From copying shoe designs off Rihana’s collection to tote bag, this fast fashion brand really needs to stop. For both Gucci and Adidas the fight was about copying the trademark stripes to which Forever 21 replied “Forever 21 pushed back on that claim too, pointing out that many other third party brands also stock items of clothing with the iconic stripes.” Actually, over the years this brand has been sued over 50 times by designers for copying their clothes, including Diane von Furstenberg.
Chanel and Adidas Vs Amazon: In separate lawsuits Chanel, arbiter of luxury, and Adidas, patron saint of ath-leisure, are going after dozens of web sites and Amazon store operators for selling merchandise with fake logos and trademarks and seeking combined damages of $249 million.
Christian Louboutin v. YSL: This is a battle for the sole. Last year, Christian Louboutin sued Yves Saint Laurent, claiming a trademark infringement on his signature "Chinese Red" soles because YSL featured a red-soled shoe in its 2011 resort collection. Yves Saint Laurent countered that a colour of sole cannot be come illegal to use. To which the court has granted them the right to use it in various other colour combinations.
Alexander McQueen Sues Steve Madden: The suit alleges Steve Madden’s Seryna bootie is a “studied imitation” of McQueen’s Faithful design, which was inspired by a motorcycle jacket. McQueen’s lawyers add, “In fact, the only design element of the ‘Faithful Bootie’ that Madden did not deliberately copy is the zipper pull that contains the ‘Alexander McQueen’ trademark.” Interestingly Balenciaga, two months later, sued Steve Madden for copying their Lego shoe design.
Abercrombie & Fitch v. American Eagle: Who owns the number 22? That was the question raised in 2003 when Abercrombie & Fitch (which owns Hollister) sued its mall rival American Eagle over clothing featuring the doubled digit. According to the suit, Hollister first used 22 when the chain launched in 2000 (to represent the fictional year the company was founded, 1922), and the number had since become associated with its brand. American Eagle, which had already been sued by Abercrombie & Fitch several times over the years, countered that Hollister had used other numbers on its clothes and therefore couldn't stake a claim to any one of them.
Roberto Cavalli Sued for Copying Street Art: A group of graffiti artists have sued the fashion house for allegedly copying their work and incorporating it into the brand's "Graffiti" collection. Their complaint states that in March, "Just Cavalli" introduced a clothing and accessories collection in which every piece (including clothing, bags, backpacks, and shoes) was adorned with graffiti art. And in case that's not enough, Coach is also in hot water thanks to a street art-related lawsuit. Internationally-renowned visual artist Maya Hayuk slapped an already troubled Coach, Inc. with a copyright infringement lawsuit.
Just in July of 2014, David Anasagasti sued American Eagle for using his droopy-eye motif on their website. American Eagle showcased the big, droopy eyes all over their stores, billboards, social media pages, and website recently – a marketing move that got them in trouble. And in 2013 photographer Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York won a lawsuit against DKNY for using his photos in their storefront display without permission. Many designers have used social media to publicly call out knockoffs, with some success. Chanel recently withdrew a range of Fair Isle-patterned sweaters after the designer Mati Ventrillon complained in a Facebook post that the luxury brand had visited to her factory and then plagiarised her designs.