9 April 2018Trademarks

Levi Strauss battles Kenzo over pocket ‘tabs’

Clothing brand Levi Strauss has gone to war with French luxury house Kenzo over the use of “tabs” on the back pocket of trousers.

Levi Strauss, in a lawsuit filed at the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Friday, April 6, accused Kenzo of trademark infringement for putting tabs on its trouser pockets.

The allegedly infringing clothes include a new line featuring Britney Spears, the “La Collection Memento N°2” collection.

Levi Strauss owns numerous trademarks, including its ‘Tab device’ mark, which “consists of a textile marker or other material sewn into one of the regular structural seams of the garment”. The mark is used on Levi’s jeans and other clothing products.

In February, Levi Strauss sent a cease-and-desist letter to Kenzo but, according to the claim, the French fashion house hasn’t provided a substantive response and is continuing to infringe.

“Kenzo’s actions have caused and will cause Levi Strauss irreparable harm for which money damages and other remedies are inadequate,” said the claim, adding that Kenzo must be restrained from using the trademark.

The jeans maker added that the use of the mark creates a likelihood of confusion and is causing the public to falsely associate Levi Strauss with Kenzo’s products, and vice versa.

The allegedly infringing conduct is also causing “incalculable and irreparable damage” to Levi Strauss’s goodwill and is diluting the capacity of its ‘Tab device’ trademark to differentiate Levi Strauss’s products from others.

Levi Strauss is seeking injunctive relief, a list of entities that purchased the allegedly infringing goods, delivery of the infringing products, punitive damages and lost profits.

In October last year, Levi Strauss sued a Connecticut-based company for trademark infringement relating to pocket “tabs”. Vineyard Vines was accused of selling “substantial quantities of jeans bearing pocket tab devices that are highly similar” to Levi Strauss’s trademarks.

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More on this story

2 October 2017   Clothing brand Levi Strauss has sued a Connecticut-based company for trademark infringement relating to “tabs” attached to the back pocket of trousers.
12 June 2017   Clothing company Levi Strauss has sued a New York-based company that allegedly sold unauthorised versions of its goods.
13 June 2018   UK-based luxury brand Barbour has called out jeans maker Levi Strauss over its “severe overreaching” in protecting the use of tabs on the back pocket of trousers.