Thursday, May 01, 2008

Make Victoria's Secret pay rump sum, Juicy Couture suit sez

Wednesday, April 30th 2008

Juicy Couture wants sexy lingerie giant Victoria's Secret to keep its hands off the idea of slapping its name across the backsides of thousands of women.

In a suit filed Tuesday in Manhattan, the California apparel company accuses Victoria's Secret of stealing its idea for the seat-of-the-pants logos long popular among college-age women.

"The similarities are not inadvertent and are designed to capitalize on the success of Juicy Couture," says the suit, filed in Manhattan Federal Court.

Juicy also accuses Victoria's Secret of selling apparel wrapped in the shape of lollipops, bon bons and ice cream cones to mimic the success of Juicy's Sweet Shoppe packaging.

The suit further claims Victoria's Secret is using deceptive trade practices and trying to capitalize on the success of a company that had $420 million in sales last year.

Juicy calls its clothing line the "collegiate preppy look with influences of Victorian royalty." Its shirts, shorts, underwear and other items are sold at 280 department stores.

The company wants a judge to order all the offending clothes destroyed and award it triple damages - three times the profits Victoria's Secret made through its alleged idea thefts.

A Victoria's Secret spokeswoman declined to comment.

Juicy's is the latest suit to accuse the intimate apparel company of a ripoff.

Last week, a single mom from Long Island accused Victoria's Secret of stealing her patented idea for a convertible bra that can be worn with or without straps.

Katerina Plew claims she e-mailed the company a photograph of her idea in 2003 and was shocked to find it in a Long Island Victoria's Secret store a year later.

Victoria's Secret Sued by Juicy Couture Over `Candy'


By Erik Larson

April 29 (Bloomberg) -- Victoria's Secret, the lingerie chain owned by Limited Brands Inc., was sued by women's clothing retailer Juicy Couture for allegedly copying packaging shaped like lollipops, bonbons and ice-cream cones.

Juicy Couture, a unit of New York-based Liz Claiborne Inc., developed its ``Sweet Shoppe'' line in 2005, two years before Victoria's Secret began wrapping bras and panties in nearly identical packaging, according to the trademark-infringement suit filed yesterday in federal court in Manhattan.

Juicy Couture singled out Victoria's Secret's Pink brand, saying the copied packaging is part of a series of marketing imitations for the line of intimate apparel that resulted in similar clothing designs and store interiors.

``Pink has applied slogans across the seat of pants which famously originated with Juicy Couture and identifies its brand,'' the company said in the complaint. ``Pink stores incorporate many elements of Juicy Couture's stores including oriental rugs and Victorian-style furniture.''

Robin Olshavsky, a spokeswoman for Columbus, Ohio-based Limited Brands, declined to comment when reached today by phone.

Juicy Couture's ``original and innovative'' packaging is an important element of the company's image, Liz Claiborne said in an e-mailed statement. ``These and other brand elements create the unique consumer experience that allows Juicy to stand apart from its competitors in the fashion markets in which it competes.''

Damages, Order

Juicy Couture is seeking money damages and profit from the alleged copying, as well as a court order barring Victoria's Secret from using the candy packaging.

Earlier this month, Victoria's Secret was sued by Katerina Plew for allegedly infringing a patent with its 100-Way Strapless Convertible product. The suit is pending in federal court in New York.

Limited Brands rose 13 cents to $19.30 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Liz Claiborne climbed 23 cents to $18.28.

The case is Juicy Couture Inc. v. Victoria's Secret Stores Brand Management Inc., 08-cv-3985, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).