Hermès has added another design patent to its roster: this time for its Lions sneakers. The Paris-based brand, which is best known for its pricey (and protected via federal trade dress) Birkin and Kelly bags, also has quite a collection of design-patented footwear. Pierre Hardy, the house’s longtime footwear and jewelry designer, is named as the inventor of the high top sneakers on the patent, which was issued on December 29, 2015 – just over a year after it was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patent protection covers the Hermès men's high top sneaker with its sport rubber sole and "H relief" print.
The Lions sneakers, which retail for $1,175, join the likes of a high heel sandal, another one of Hardy’s designs, for which the house was awarded protection this past September. The house has design patent protection for a number of other shoes, including a low boot with a cutout “H” detail, an espadrille with a leather ankle strap, its “Mayotte” style sandal, a driving shoe with studs, and its “Quick” style sneakers.
A number of recent patent filings and awards continue to shed light on fashion brands’ reliance on design patents as a valuable form of protection against rampant copying by both fast fashion and mid-market retailers.