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Levi’s Sues Competitors

Last week, news broke out in the fashion grapevine that fans of Japanese denim would have a much more difficult time obtaining them. Levi’s was successful in suing and obtaining injunctions toward every company that infringed in their trademark designs and for denim-heads, the hardest hit would be from the Land of the Rising Sun. Japanese denim is often called repro for “reproduction” and it prides itself on the creating jeans that are similar to the pants that Levi’s used to cell, before they switched production methods and lowered quality. Of course, to complete the look, these Japanese denim companies had patches, pocket stitching, and the classic Red Tab.

The lawsuits, which Leviís says it is compelled to file to safeguard the defining features on its jeans, are not about the money ó one settled for just $5,000 in damages. Instead, the company says, they are about removing copycats from stores. Nearly all the cases have settled out of court, with Leviís smaller rivals agreeing to stop making the offending pants and to destroy unsold pairs.

Many people are fuming, claiming that Levi’s missed the denim boom and while companies like Rock & Republic are selling $300 jeans in boutiques, Levi’s still has their’s for $40 at the local Sears. I completely disagree. I think Levi’s has a right to defend their trademark. They are still an active company and are very much in business and their trademark and design are valid. It’s not a case of some company just coming up with an idea and never using it and existing only for litigious purposes (*cough* NTP). Everyone has a pair of Levi’s. Everyone knows what the classic features are. Any company that puts intersecting arches on the pocket, a tab, or a patch knows exactly what they are doing. Levi’s isn’t saying you can’t have a zipper, and two leg openings. They are saying people should be more original.

| Read more at the NYT |

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