A Moron In A Hurry

January 29, 2007

Levi’s Suing Everyone Over Jeans Designs

Filed under: trademark — nick @ 1:30 am

NYT has a great look at Levi’s recent deluge into the trademark protection abyss.  From the article:

Executives at Levi’s concede they missed important fashion trends as the denim industry ballooned over the last several years, but they deny the lawsuits are connected to any downturn in their business.

Instead, they say they are simply trying to preserve their intellectual property. Like pharmaceutical companies that sue generic drug makers over their patents or technology companies that duke it out over who owns the right to microchip designs, Levi’s says it is trying to protect its most valuable asset, its trademarks.

Really?  Would old Mr. Strauss not have continued making jeans if he couldn’t prevent others from mimicking his back pocket design?  Silly me, I thought it was all about the product.  But still, does imitating Levi’s back pocket create confusion?

“It was an original design,” [Steven Shaul, the founder and chief executive of Jelessy Jeans] said. “Why would I use Levi’s stitching? If my jeans sell for $200, I would not knock off $40 jeans from Levi’s.”

Very true.  Does anyone paying $200 for jeans think they’re buying Levi’s?

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3 Comments »

  1. I first got the phone call from Levi’s attorneys. They were very clear about their design patent. No matter how obscure your pocket design was, if it had a hint of the “sea gull” stitching it violated their design patent and they would do all the legal activity to get you off the market and sue for damages. It did not matter if they were right or wrong, they had the money to bury you in legal actions, so compliance was a must to their wishes.

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