Hermès filed a complaint against Southern California-based brand, Thursday Friday, Inc. this week, stemming from the company’s production of its “Together Bag,” a canvas tote adorned with a screenprinted Birkin bag (minus the traditional Hermes logo markings). Hermès’ trademark infringement complaint is being backed by their allegation that the $35.00 Thursday Friday bag is creating consumer confusion. Thursday Friday has had quite a bit of sucess since the launch of the “Together Bag.” The bag was noted in the New York Time’s Style Magazine in January of this year, and likely as a result, the bags were backordered for months.
Because the Thursday Friday bag lacks any “Hermès-Paris” markings, Hermès can likely only bring a successful trade dress claim, as a trademark infringement case requires that the infringing party utilizes to a trademark (or logo) without the authorization of the trademark owner. By bringing a trade dress complaint, Hermès would be able to claim that even though Thursday Friday did not print the Hermès logo on its “Together Bag,” the Birkin bag is so iconic that its appearance alone signifies the source of the product to consumers. In essence, that an unmarked “Birkin bag” is famous enough to signify its source.
UPDATE: Looks like Thursday Friday got the point. The company has settled the lawsuit brought by Hermès after their motion to dismiss was denied [Case number: 1:11-cv-00580-AKH].