THE FASHION LAW EXCLUSIVE – Vigilant defenders of their own intellectual property rights, luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (“LVMH”), Christian Dior and Céline are actually on the receiving end of a trademark infringement suit this time around. According to plaintiff Live Eyewear, Inc. (“Live Eyewear”)’s complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, a federal court in Los Angeles, last month, the “defendants are offering for sale, distributing, marketing, and/or selling eyewear” that allegedly infringe two of Live Eyewear’s federally registered trademarks.
Southern California-based Live Eyewear asserts that LVMH and Paris-based brands, Céline and Christian Dior have allegedly utilized Live Eyewear’s COCOONS and SOFT TOUCH trademarks, which have enjoyed federal trademark protection in the U.S. since 2003 and 2009, respectively. The COCCONS mark “consists of standard characters without claim to any particular font, size, style or color” and refers to Live Eyewear’s flagship brand. The SOFT TOUCH mark refers to a “rubberized finish for use specifically on and sold as an integral component of eyeglass frames, spectacle frames, sunglass frames and clip-on sunglass chassis that provides a corrosion resistant seal and a velvet like surface.”
Live Eyewear alleges that LVMH and Dior have sold – by way of licensee/distributor Safilo Group S.p.A, which is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit – at least four styles of sunglasses using its SOFT TOUCH mark. Moreover, Live Eyewear states that LVMH and Céline are on the hook for infringement for selling “Cocoon” oversized sunglasses and failing to distinguish the Céline style from Live Eyewear’s own “COCOONS” eyewear.
Given what Live Eyewear alleges is “irreparable” harm that has resulted from the aforementioned acts of trademark infringement – as well as claims of trademark dilution and unfair competition, by LVMH, Dior and Céline – it is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, as well as unspecified monetary damages.
* The case is Live Eyewear, Inc. vs. Safilo Group S.p.A., et al, Civil Action No. 2:16-cv-08362.