Chanel copied shop display design, suit claims


Rory O'Neill

Chanel copied shop display design, suit claims

Creative Lab /

A Canadian design company says it was “shocked and hurt” when it discovered allegedly infringing copies of its products in Chanel stores.

Vancouver-based Molo Design is suing Chanel for patent infringement, claiming that the French luxury brand copied its award-winning softwall and softblock designs for in-store displays.

Molo, whose clients include Dior and Louis Vuitton, is known for its delicately arranged paper blocks which have been featured in numerous product displays and exhibitions.

According to Molo, it was contacted by two separate companies last year looking to engage its services for a campaign of advertising displays in Chanel stores.

These discussions did not lead to an agreement, with one of the companies informing Molo that it had been pressured by Chanel to find an alternative supplier.

“A few short months later, in or around February 2021, Molo became aware that Chanel stores in the US—multiple stores in New York City—had installed displays using materials that copied its patented softwall + softblock product,” the lawsuit said.

It continued: “A Molo client walking by a Chanel store even thought that Molo’s softwall + softblock products were used in the Chanel window display, and congratulated Molo without knowing that the display materials are actually unsanctioned copies of Molo’s patented products.”

According to Molo, the copied designs appear in Chanel stores in New York City, including locations in Manhattan and Soho, all without the Canadian company’s permission.

“Molo was shocked and hurt when it learned that infringing copies of its products had been authorised by Chanel, who Molo presumed shared the same values regarding design, creativity and innovation,” the company said.

Molo has claimed infringement of four patents, and is seeking an injunction against Chanel as well as an award of treble damages for willful infringement. The case was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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Chanel, Molo Design, softwall, softblock, patent infringement, window display