Designer Christian Audigier’s Nervous Tattoo, Inc. is being sued by Marc Jacobs’ company for trade dress and trademark infringement over purse designs. Marc Jacobs designs apparel and accessories, including purses, and has a pending application for its random “Marc Jacobs” scrambled trademark. Marc Jacobs has applied the scrambled trademark to the inside lining of the “Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon” tote bag. And the tote bag’s “size, shape, color or color combinations, product design, texture, and selection and arrangement of materials and accessories” are claimed to serve as its trade dress.
Plaintiffs accuse Defendants of selling tote bags that “bear trade dress that unlawfully copies or imitates Plaintiffs’ unique, distinctive, and non-functional Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Tote Trade Dress and/or that unlawfully bear marks confusingly similar to the Marc Jacobs Scrambled Trademark.” In addition, Plaintiffs assert claims for unfair competition under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 and constructive trust.
Since the parties’ products apparently bear their respective trademarks, it will be interesting to see if customers are confused about the source of the products. See Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. McNeil-P.P.C., Inc., 973 F.2d 1033, 1045-46 (2nd Cir. 1992) (holding that prominently displayed trade names on the respective products "weigh[ed] heavily against a finding of consumer confusion resulting from the overall look of the packaging") (preliminary injunction denied).
The case is Marc Jacobs Trademarks, LLC et al. v. Eagles Clubs International, Inc., et al., CV10-00456 CBM (C.D. Cal. 2010).
Larger version of Marc's bag. Can't find one of Christian's, nor do I want to.
* Yes, Marc hasn't always been a non-plagiarizing angel, but any means to stop Ed Hardy crap is a good day.