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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Levi's Battles Abecrombie Over Jeans

Posted By on Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Original, and wanting to keep it that way.
  • Original, and wanting to keep it that way.
Here is a debate that's been left to the courts -- and the fashion divas of the world. San Francisco's-based Levi's jeans company is fighting with Abercrombie & Fitch Clothing over the arched-shaped stitching on the buttocks of the pants.

Today, a San Francisco appeals court decided that a judge gave the jury wrong standards to use when trying to determine whether Abercrombie ripped off the Levi's trademark on the back pockets. The court sent the case back to trial.

Let's compare the back pockets from both jeans ourselves:

click to enlarge Levi's arches.
  • Levi's arches.
click to enlarge Abercrombie's arches.
  • Abercrombie's arches.


In these photos from today's ruling, you see that there is some resemblance, but they are not identical. A judge had told the jury that it must decide whether the Abercrombie's design was "identical or nearly identical" to the Levi's stitching. The jury ruled in Abercrombie's favor that the two are not the same.

Justices rules that the "identical" standard was a misrepresentation of the Trademark Dilution Revision Act of 2006, which protects trademarks from copycats. "Given the relative balance of the parties' positions," Judge Kenneth Ripple writes in the opinion, "we cannot say, with any confidence, that the district court would have reached the same result absent the legal error."

Levi's has waged legal war over the last decade, sending corporate spies

across the world to find companies that are ripping off their

trademarks. The company has sued at least 100 other brand name

companies, including Dolce & Gabbana, which we wrote about last month.   

With the case sent back for another trial, this battle between the booties continues.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly'

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Lauren Smiley


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