Fashion Law

Derek Lam Shoes Copied by Ivanka Trump

Derek Lam designer takes a fashion law hit.

Derek Lam’s Ayami wedge sandals have been well received. So well, that others others have emulated them. But some knockoffs can be too close for comfort.

While on Bloomingdales.com, one of Lam’s footwear designers discovered a perfectly copied version of a Derek Lam shoe. The copy was under the Ivanka Trump label. The designer immediately notified Jan-Hendrik Schlottmann, CEO of Derek Lam.

Derek Lam Ayami Wedge Sandals and Ivanka Trump Cadie Wedge Sandals - Is this closely designed knockoff unfair competition given the price drop?

Is this closely designed knockoff unfair competition given the price drop?

Imitation is not very flattering when it is in the form of infringement.

Derek Lam started fashion law actions against Trump.

Derek Lam is taking legal actions against Ivanka Trump over knockoff shoes.

Yesterday, Derek Lam’s legal team sent Trump a cease and desist letter.* This fashion law action gives Ivanka Trump Footwear and its licensee, Marc Fisher Footwear, seven days to remove their allegedly infringing Cadie wedge sandals from all retailers.

Do you think consumers would have chosen the $780 original design over the $150 copy?

Imitation is not very flattering when it is in the form of infringement.

Schlottmann ordered a pair of the Trump sandals. He has yet to receive them and already the shoes have seemingly disappeared from the websites of large retailers. This is possibly a sign of good news for Lam.

A fashion law issue here is trade dress.

I have not found a copyright for Derek Lam’s Ayami wedge sandals. And Ivanka Trump’s Cadie wedges clearly have Trump’s name logo on the inner sole. So, trademark is not at issue. The fashion law problem is a trade dress issue.

Trade dress refers to the visual and aesthetic choices made on a product and/or its packaging. Trade dress is protected under the Lanham Act.

Trade dress protection protects consumers from items that purposefully try to mislead the consumer into thinking one product is that of another. —Think of generic store brands placed adjacent to products by a popular brand. When the generic items copy the packaging colors and font style… Trade dress issues can be afoot.

Deceptive trade practices may also be alleged for the same reason.

Check out Ivanka Trump sued by Aquazzura over Wild Things

 


* Cease and desist letters are often the first step in a fashion law action.

Cease and desist letters commonly point out alleged illegal activity and present a call for action, such as a demand for the end of production and sales of infringing goods.

If the receiving party complies, going to court is not necessary. This type of action and reaction can save both parties money.

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