NEW YORK (Associated Press) – Clothing company Juicy Couture Inc. has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit accusing rival Victoria’s Secret of ripping off one of its marketing gimmicks by selling apparel in packages that look like sugary treats.
The suit, filed late Monday, claims that Victoria’s Secret has been imitating its designs and logos for years and incorporating them into its “Pink” line of lounge wear.
Lawyers for Juicy laid out a long list of complaints about copying in the suit, saying the Pink line parroted everything from Juicy’s coat of arms-style emblem (both include a dog, a crown and a capital letter), to its most common color scheme (pink), to its best-known design (pants with the brand name emblazoned suggestively across the backside).
The trademark infringement claim, however, focuses on how both companies package some of their products.
Juicy said it began using candy-themed packaging in 2006, and now sells “Sweet Shoppe” apparel in bundles that look like lollipops, bon bons and ice cream cones. The suit accuses Victoria’s Secret, a unit of Limited Brands Inc., of using the same types of packaging starting a year later.
“In copying Juicy Couture’s distinctive and unique trade dress, defendants crossed the line from design imitation to trade dress infringement,” the lawsuit said.
Both clothing lines are aimed at women in their late teens and early twenties.
A Limited Brands spokeswoman said the company had no comment on the matter.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Manhattan just days after Victoria’s Secret raised a complaint of its own about knockoffs.
The company sued department store giant Macy’s in early April, accusing it of ripping off the Pink brand with imitation clothing marketed under the name “Pinkish.”
Among other things, Victoria’s Secret said that Macy’s and clothing manufacturer Intertex Apparel had improperly mimicked its coat of arms (both have a crown and a big letter “P”), as well as its dog logo, and one of its top selling designs: sweat pants with the name “Pinkish” scrawled across the seat.
A spokesman for Macy’s declined to comment on the suit.
There is yet another layer to the litigation; Phat Fashions LLC, a company founded by hip-hop legend Russell Simmons, sued Victoria’s Secret over the Pink line in March, accusing it of using a logo that too closely resembles its own trademark on Phat Farm clothing. Both emblems feature the letter “P” on a shield, framed by laurel leafs.
I personally think it’s all a little ridiculous but since PINK has permeated HS/College culture its not surprising that they’d be a target for lawsuits.