Update on Givenchy v BCBG Case
"BCBG Max Azria Group Inc. on Friday urged a California federal judge to toss French couture house Givenchy SA’s suit claiming its U.S. competitor violated trade dress and unfair competition laws by making knockoffs of its signature Nightingale handbag." In a suit originating in November 2010, French Fashion House Givenchy states that its U.S. “competitor” has deliberately knocked off “line-by-line and stitch-by-stitch, distinctive, nonfunctional elements of Givenchy’s Nightingale trade dress.” Additionally, Givenchy states that “the bags are strikingly similar, the parties’ products are regularly advertised and even worn together by celebrities, and are also sold in some of the same stores, and Givenchy has significant evidence of the strength of its Nightingale trade dress,” Additionally, “[t]he evidence in the record clearly creates a dispute of fact that a rational juror could resolve in Givenchy’s favor.”
See below for the summary of BCBG’s Motion for Summary Judgment:
In the joint brief accompanying BCBG’s motion for summary judgment filed Friday, BCBG argues that the judge should throw out its French competitor’s lawsuit on grounds that Givenchy can’t meet its burden to show that the elements of its purported trade dress are nonfunctional.
“Givenchy’s alleged trade dress, taken individually and collectively, is quintessentially functional, precluding its protection as trade dress,” the U.S. fashion designer argued.
BCBG also contends that Givenchy can’t meet its burden of showing that the alleged trade dress has achieved secondary meaning, and cannot prove customers are likely to be deceived into believing that Givenchy is the source of BCBG’s $100 bags.
Key Fashion Contract: Agency/Representation/Contract
"In an agency or distributorship agreement certain key issues should be addressed in the contract: the scope of representation; territory and exclusivity; and, termination provisions."