The Fashion Law Exclusive - Edie Parker, the New York-based brand responsible for the vintage-inspired clutches that you have been seeing in all of the street style photos and at all of the various fashion weeks, has filed suit against fellow handbag company, the Box Bag and its agent Beth Smolen. According to Edie Parker, LLC’s complaint, which was filed late last week in the Southern District of New York, in lieu of “creating and marketing her own designs, [Smolen] sells handbags that parasitically copy Edie Parker’s protected handbag trade dress and copyrighted designs.”
In alleging federal trademark infringement, unfair competition, trade dress infringement, and copyright infringement, Edie Parker claims that its brand is “one of the hottest handbag and accessory designers in the fashion world today," having garnered fans that include Gwyneth Paltrow, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and every major editor and street style star. With this in mind, Edie Parker alleges that Smolen “has sold and offered for sale certain of her handbags that reproduce, copy and imitate the Edie Parker Box Clutch Trade Dress in, in a manner that is confusingly similar to the distinctive trade dress of Edie Parker.” The trade dress for the Box Clutch is described as follows:
The overall shape of the bag is a rectangular box, which includes top and bottom portions, left and right side portions, and back and front portions. The top, bottom, left and right side portions are comprised of two parts. The top, bottom, front, and back portions are longer horizontally than vertically, and the side portions are longer vertically than in depth; the edges of the bag are rounded; the bag is made of a rigid plastic looking material; the bag opens at the top, with the rectangular box separating into front and back parts, the separation occurring along a plane parallel to the front and back portions of the bag when in closed spatial relationship with each other; the front and back parts are maintained in closed spatial relationship with each other by a closure device positioned at the top portion of the bag; etc.
In addition to jacking its legally-protected style (which also includes at least three federally registered copyrights - two of which are pictured above), Edie Parker alleges that Smolen “has also misused the EDIE PARKER trademark on her website and social media, all in a wrongful attempt to exploit the hard work and creative effort of Edie Parker and create consumer confusion and attract attention to [Smolen’s] website and marketing efforts.” And despite various correspondences from Edie Parker, alerting Smolen of its intellectual property rights, the company continues to market and sell the infringing designs. As such, Edie Parker, LLC wants the court to order Smolen to immediately and permanently cease marketing and selling the bags at issue and to award Edie Parker damages in excess of $50,000.