It’s been a big couple of weeks for Gucci. First, the design house was accused of copying three separate designers’ works in its Cruise 2018 collection. Now, it’s been hit with a trademark lawsuit, somewhat ironically, by Forever 21.
The lawsuit was filed with the US District Court this week. It seeks a declaratory judgment against Gucci that several of Forever 21’s designs do not infringe Gucci’s trademarks.
Gucci and Forever 21 have been in an ongoing battle since late last year, after Gucci sent a cease and desist letter to the retailer. In a series of letters to follow, Gucci demanded Forever 21 cease all sales of any garments and accessories bearing blue-red-blue and green-red-green stripes. The design house has maintained a federal trademark protection for those stripe combinations since 1988.
Aside from proving it isn’t infringing the trademark, Forever 21’s lawsuit calls for Gucci’s trademark registrations to be cancelled.
"Many clothing and accessory items adorned with decorative stripes coloured blue-red-blue or green-red-green are sold by countless third parties,” reads the lawsuit.
“The colours red, blue and green, and stripe designs, are among the most favourite, popular and widely used colours and design features on clothing.”
It continues, stating: "Gucci should not be allowed to claim that Gucci, alone, has a monopoly on all blue-red-blue and green-red-green striped clothing and accessory items."
According to the retailer, customers are not likely to believe that any of Forever 21's products bearing blue-red-blue or green-red-green stripes are affiliated with Gucci.
In a statement to The Fashion Law, a Gucci spokesperson accused Forever 21 of profiting from Gucci’s trademarks.
"Now, in an effort to distract from its own blatant infringements, Forever 21 is attempting to attack some of Gucci’s most famous and iconic trademarks. This will not deter Gucci from pursuing its own claims against Forever 21 as port [sic] of its ongoing commitment to the vigorous protection of its valuable intellectual property rights and distinctive brand identity.”