Forever 21 files lawsuit against Gucci and demands its trademark registrations be canceled
While Forever 21 is regularly being blasted in the news for ripping off products like Puma and Rihanna’s Fenty sandals and Kayne West’s “The Life of Pablo” collection, this time it’s the discount retailer that is taking legal action against luxury brand Gucci.
This week the specialty retailer retaliated against Gucci, filing a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The renowned Italian label had frequently warned Forever 21 that it would sue the company for the abuse of copious registered trademarks.
The war started in December 2016 when Gucci sent Forever 21 a cease and desist letter insisting the discount chain pull all garments sporting blue-red-blue and green-red-green stripes—two color and pattern combinations that Gucci garners federal trademark protection dating back to 1988. Gucci followed up with two more letters in January and February of this year stating that the company would sue if Forever 21 did not pull the alleged rip-offs—reportedly three bomber jackets, a sweater and a choker-style necklace—from its brick-and-mortar and e-commerce stores.
All of these actions ultimately led Forever 21 to file a declaratory judgment action against the luxury Italian label, denying accusations that the company was copying Gucci’s products. In addition, the lawsuit also requests that the brand’s (roughly) nine trademark registrations be canceled due to the fact that decorative stripes and primary colors are popular—and not necessarily unique— fashion trends around the world, so by eliminating the trademark registrations, there will no longer be any confusion regarding brand ownership.
All of these issues are still being decided upon by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
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