Kule sues Clare Vivier over trademarked stripe
New York-based Kule has sued LA-based Clare Vivier for trademark infringement arising from the brand's use of stripes.
Kule filed its trademark infringement case in Manhattan federal court earlier this week. While Adidas usually is the brand to head into court to protect its trademarked stripes, Kule is creating a new trademark issue centered on the location of the stripes.
Kule has a registered trademark for its striped mark that consists of two vertical stripes as trim on the bottom left of its shirts. Kule has held this federally registered trademark since 2015. Celebrities and models including Alexa Chung and Gwyneth Paltrow have helped popularize Kule's brand and mark in the fashion industry.
Last month Clare Vivier began selling shirts and sweaters that had a striped tag on the bottom left hem. According to Kule's complaint the striped trim was "affixed to the shirts and similar apparel in the same location as the trademarked Kule trim stripe.”
Kule alleges in its complaint that the consumer would be confused as to the origin of the Clare Vivier product since the placement of stripes is similar. Kule wrote in its complaint that "the ordinary consumer would not and does not recognize any distinction between the Kule trim stripes and the defendants’ trim stripes."
Unfortunately for Kule, a closer look at the stripes reveals they are fairly different. Kule's trademark consists of two vertical stripes on a separate piece of fabric that is attached to the garment. Clare Vivier's stripes are much smaller and sewn directly into the hem. Additionally, Clare Vivier is using three stripes. The only similarity is that both brands are using stripes on the hem of their garments.
Regardless of the differences, it will be interesting to see whether the court agrees with Kule that location is part of a registered trademark. Clare Vivier has not yet filed an official response.
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