Merc is asking for a six-figure sum from fellow young fashion brand Firetrap for passing off and infringement after Firetrap used the name Merc for one of its denim products.
Merc has brought court proceedings against Firetrap for selling ‘Merc Jegger’ jeans, which it believes could be confused with its own product.
Andrew Tompsett, head of the UK for Merc, said: “They’re using our trademark in an awful lot of our customers.” He added: “We’ve got retailers selling Merc product and also selling Merc Firetrap jeans.” Tompsett said this might confuse customers.
Firetrap, owned by World Design & Trade, declined to comment on any legal proceedings. The brand is being primed for a sale after drafting in accountant PricewaterhouseCoopers to explore options.
The case is the latest in a string of copyright battles in the industry. Luxury footwear label Christian Louboutin had its lawsuit against Yves Saint Laurent placed on hold in August last year. It had claimed that YSL infringed the 2008 copyright on his red-soled shoes by introducing red soles to its own footwear line.
Further cases have included young fashion business SuperGroup, which launched an action against Burton last autumn, accusing the Arcadia-owned retailer of copying the design of one of its Superdry coats. A year ago, Dutch denim brand G-Star launched legal proceedings against Danish brand house Bestseller, which operates young fashion chains Jack & Jones and Vero Moda, for allegedly copying its designs.