Good morning everyone. Hope you all had a lovely weekend. For this week’s IP news.
Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty lingerie company is facing trademark infringement
10-year-old Adore Me, a New York based clothing retailer, which sells “lingerie, sleepwear, activewear, legwear, loungewear, and swimwear products,” submitted a trademark application for its name back in 2011, with the application covering all types of apparel.
This company is now going after Savage X Fenty for the use of the “Adore Us” tagline in order to promote their products (including a Google Ad). As part of this Ad, the “Adore Us” tagline appears prominently among results for Adore Me and its products and services. Contrary to what this could imply, the plaintiff considers that this advertising could suggest that Savage X Fenty’s products are somehow authorised, sponsored or somehow related to Adore Me.
Adore Me sent Savage X Fenty a cease-and-desist letter in June but didn’t receive a response. Consequently, Adore Me is seeking a permanent injunction banning Savage X Fenty from continuing to use the Adore Us tagline and running the involved advertisements, which are, allegedly, purportedly causing immediate and irreparable harm and injury to Adore Me. The business is also seeking damages.
Kanye West and Yeezy suing Walmart over foam runner copies
Kanye West is now going after Walmart for selling copycat versions of Yeezy’s Foam Runner shoes. According to the complaint, filed in the US, West and Yeezy LLC allege that Walmart is taking advantage of Kanye and the Yeezy brand’s popularity by offering for sale an imitation version of the Yeezy Foam Runner and confusing consumers.
Indeed, by selling an unauthorised imitation of the original and distinctive Yeezy Foam Runner (by copying the clog-silhouette, foam slip-on body, and characteristic varying-sized cutouts on the sides and top of the shoe) Walmart is not only causing damages to the original company, but it is intentionally taking advantage of the appeal of and demand for the Yeezy shoes, evidenced by comments on Walmart’s website, where consumers claim that they purchased the imitation shoe only because of its association with West and the YEEZY (or “Yeezy and Kanye vibes” if you prefer).
West and Yeezy also base the claim on comments on social media, which reference to the copy as “Walmart Yeezy’s” or “Foam Runners at Walmart.” According to them, these comments demonstrate that consumers are confused about the origin of the imitation shoes, and as a result, are associating the lookalike shoes with West and Yeezy even though they are only unauthorised copies.
West and Yeezy therefore claim that Walmart’s unfair competition has caused a loss in their market share that they otherwise would have had. In addition, this conduct was directly harmful to the goodwill and reputation of the YEEZY brand (the association between the original Yeezy and a lower quality copy directly affects the reputation of the brand). West and Yeezy are now seeking monetary damages and compensation for the harm caused.
- Publication date
- 20 July 2021
- European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency