After being slapped with a copying lawsuit by Dr. Martens, Steve Madden has added another case to its list of pending lawsuits: One from Valentino. The Italian design house has filed a copyright infringement suit against Madden in the U.S. District Court for the Northern Division of Georgia, a federal court in Atlanta, alleging that the notorious copycat accessories brand has replicated one of its most sought-after bags, as well as one of its $800+ bag straps.
In 2015, Valentino created “a two-dimensional design that it applied to a handbag,” as well as its Camubutterfly Strap Design – both of which enjoy federal copyright protection in the U.S. According to Valentino’s complaint, Steve Madden has since taken to manufacturing and selling “substantially and strikingly similar” bags and bag straps of its own. The Italian brand claims that it “did not authorize Steve Madden to copy or make derivative works of the Double Purse Design or the Camubutterfly Strap Design,” and “in doing so, Steve Madden has violated Valentino’s exclusive rights.”
Both of the allegedly infringing designs have since been removed from Madden’s e-commerce site.
As a result of the “financial injury” that Madden’s copies have caused to Valentino, the brand “requests that it be awarded actual damages for each infringement as proven, plus costs and interest in an amount to be determined at trial.”
In the relatively recent past, Madden has been named in copying-centric lawsuits by Aquazzura, Balenciaga (for a second time), and Stella McCartney.
* The case is Valentino S.p.A. v. Steve Madden, Ltd., 1:17-cv-02015 (N.D. Ga.).