Thursday, December 24, 2009

Trade Dress Infringement: Jimmy Choo v. Forever 21

Dear Jimmy Choo,

Forever 21 recently infringed your trade dress by copying the product configuration of your black studded fishnet Karina booties.  The statutory test for trade dress infringement under Lanham Act §43 is satisfied, because the trade dress of the two products are confusingly similar (I was actually confused); the features of the trade dress - the studs, fishnet, and pattern - are primarily nonfunctional (because exclusive use of the features would not put competitors at a significant non-reputation related disadvantage, considering that the studs and fishnet pattern is not essential to the use or purpose of the shoe, and that the studs and fishnet pattern does not affect the cost or quality of the shoe); and the product configuration of the Karina booties have acquired distinctiveness through secondary meaning (because fashionistas including myself have come to associate the shape of the Karina design with the Jimmy Choo brand as the source of the product).  The use of this particular product configuration by Forever 21 confuses and misleads consumers familiar with high-end designer shoes such as Jimmy Choo, and it creates a substantial likelihood of confusion.  Below I have posted images comparing the $1095 Jimmy Choo black studded fishnet Karina booties and the $32.80 Forever 21 Glitterati pump.

Best wishes, if you choose to file a lawsuit against "forever-sued" Forever 21.


Laura Ng
Editor-in-chief, Sartorial Editorial
2L (seeking summer law associate position), Georgia State University College of Law

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