After threatening Philipp Plein with a trademark infringement lawsuit over what Plein described as “similarities between their jumping KITTY KAT logo with a tail and our TIGER HEAD with claw stripes,” Puma has filed suit against the German designer, citing trademark infringement. And the German sportswear giant, which shares a parent company with Gucci, Balenciaga, and Siant Laurent, has already scored a win: A temporary injunction from a regional court in Duesseldorf, which immediately acts to prevent Plein’s from selling garments and accessories bearing the allegedly infringing logo in Puma’s native Germany.
“At the end of 2017, we found out that he had started the new Plein Sport line in which he reproduced this particular cat on t-shirts, hoodies, shoes and so on,” Puma’s head of intellectual property, Neil Narriman, said. Narriman further held that Puma discovered that “some of Plein’s clothes on the website feature a tiger’s head while others are adorned with a leaping tiger,” per Reuters. Still yet, “There are also other design features similar to Puma‘s.”
As noted by Reuters, “Puma’s Narriman said the company had also obtained a court order against Plein similar to an injunction in the Netherlands and was prepared to take legal measures in other countries as well if necessary.”
Meanwhile, Plein, who launched his Sport collection in 2016 and has been rapidly expanding its retail network and lineup of designs ever since, addressed the situation prior to Puma’s filing of its lawsuit, saying, “We have done nothing wrong.”
“It is sad and ridiculous that competitors are not always playing fair and trying everything in their power to interrupt the success from others,” Plein stated on Instagram last week. “Nnobody can stop the growth of our new mega brand PLEINSPORT! Instead of wasting your time and money you guys should PLAY FAIR! Let the games begin.”
As for Puma, Narriman says the “whole purpose” of its lawsuit “is not to fight for the sake of it… We want to find a resolution to this matter and not escalate.”
More to come …