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Timeline: Fashion’s seven biggest trademark lawsuits

Following the news this week that Adidas has filed a lawsuit against Forever 21 over the use of its three stripes mark, we take a look at some of the fashion lawsuits that have hit the headlines in recent years.

October 2008

US footwear company Rubber Duck takes New Look to court over the design of a boot said to look like Snowjoggers, the footwear owned by Rubber Duck. New Look had to withdraw the boot from its shelves. The UK distributor for Rubber Duck claimed it had also found versions of the boot at other retailers.

September 2009

Abercrombie & Fitch sues Beyonce over the use of the name ‘Sasha Fierce’ in a proposed perfume. The company claimed that they used the ‘Fierce’ trademark since 2002. Cosmetics firm Coty Executives announced soon after that they would not be releasing a Beyone perfume line under the ‘Sasha Fierce’ name.

March 2010

Burberry sues TJ Maxx parent company TJX Companies over claims that the latter were continuing to sell counterfeit Burberry products in its stores. Burberry eventually dropped all claims.

December 2010

Deckers, the parent company of Ugg, took footwear brand Emu Australia to court over claimed copyright infringement. It claimed that the designs were close enough to trick customers into believing they were buying an Ugg product. The case was eventually dismissed by a US court judge.

April 2011

Christian Louboutin took Yves Saint Laurent to court for producing footwear designs with red soles that were ‘virtually identical to his own’. The case was dismissed in the US, with Louboutin acknowledging he had no further claims in the case.

June 2012

Humphrey Bogart’s son Stephen sues Burberry for using his father’s image on its social media platforms. He also stressed that the trench coat worn by Bogart in the film 1942 Casablanca may not have been a Burberry coat in the first place, which he said the brand’s advertising had implied. By August 2012, both parties had agreed to drop the dispute.

November 2013

Jack Wills sues House of Fraser over the latter’s bird logo used on its clothing, claiming that confusion could be caused with its own. Both logos were birds wearing hats, though HoF’s did not include a cane. In early 2014 a judged ruled in favour of Jack Wills, saying that the HoF logo was close enough to potentially cause confusion with consumers.

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