MZ Wallace fails to prove trade dress existence in handbag case

MZ Wallace fails to prove trade dress existence in handbag case


American fashion company MZ Wallace has lost a trade dress case against Oliver Thomas, a year-old handbag brand. The decision was handed down by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on December 20, 2018. MZ Wallace began the proceedings in May 2018, claiming that Oliver Thomas’s quilted handbags infringed its trade dress. In the case, MZ Wallace claimed that it had trade dress rights on the quilted pattern on its handbags, including the Metro Tote, its most successful product. According to the ruling, “the quilting used on MZ Wallace bags bearing the trade dress is made of squares with edges that measure 2.5 centimeters on a flat piece of nylon”. MZ Wallace sent a cease and desist letter in February 2018 accusing Oliver Thomas of copying “the Metro Tote’s shape, straps, and pocketing”. However, the court found, throughout the proceedings, MZ Wallace failed to demonstrate sufficient evidence of trade dress. “They were common features of handbag design” and not exclusive to MZ Wallace’s products, the court said.

Source: WIPR

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