1 April 2019Trademarks

Steve McQueen estate says Tom Ford cardigans infringe its TMs

Late American actor  Steve McQueen’s estate has filed a trademark infringement suit against fashion house  Tom Ford, according to  The Hollywood Reporter.

The complaint, filed on Friday March 29, at a California court, alleged that Tom Ford is capitalising on McQueen’s ‘king of cool’ persona to sell a line of cardigans.

The estate, which owns the McQueen trademarks, said Tom Ford’s “McQueen Cardigan” and “Merino McQueen Cardigan” infringed its rights.

It also sued the brand for false endorsement and unfair competition, alleging that Tom Ford was trading upon McQueen’s reputation, and falsely alluding that the cardigans have been approved by the family.

According to the estate, during his career, “certain sartorial items became synonymous with McQueen”. It said the “Great Escape” star was famous for his style and the commercial use of his likeness is still in demand.

“One such garment was a wool cardigan sweater with a shawl collar. McQueen made that sweater cool—so much so that James Bond wore one 40 years later,” the complaint said.

Additionally, the complaint said that third-party retailers, like department store Neiman Marcus, were promoting the cardigans by using Steve McQueen’s full name in its advertisement.

Another department store, Bergdorf Goodman, allegedly describes the cardigans as "inspired by the iconic Steve McQueen".

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