These days, we can't seem to do as much as make a face without being sued for trademark or copyright infringment. "I raised my eyebrow like that first!" Most of the time it seems completely ridiculous, but our litigious society doesn't seem to be slowing down with their lawsuits. The latest victim of trademark infringement? J.Crew. (They just can't catch a break lately!) The reason? They stole some fancy dead interior designer's signature print.
"Hmm," you're probably thinking. "A signature print is a signature print. You wouldn't just go slapping some Burberry plaid on a purse and calling it your own, now would you?" Well, no, alter ego, I would not do that, but the thing with this is -- the print is leopard.
Now, you should know it is a specific leopard. It's black and white. Apparently, the late designer, Tony Duquette, used this pattern on wallpaper, fabric, furniture, and whatever else his designer heart desired. And you should also know that his successor, Hutton Wilkinson, is suing because J.Crew used the Duquette name without permission -- the sweater was called Duquette cardigan. After some web sleuthing, though, I have found that the sweater is now listed on the site as the "Wild spots cardigan."
Who. Cares. J.Crew is incredibly popular -- and it's not like they're some crap brand. Not only are they getting you publicity, they're paying homage to the late designer. You know what would be awesome? If leopards started suing Hutton Wilkinson. How cute would that be? Imagine a bunch of leopards -- of course baby leopards would be there -- in a court room all pointing to Wilkinson, who's sitting in the corner, wearing a leopard tie. Adorable! Litigious leopards! I'm patenting that! I smell a New Yorker cartoon!
No, seriously, enough with the suing unless it's really necessary. And this is totally not one of those cases. I think the only crime taking place here is how hideous that cardigan is. Booyah!
What do you think of J.Crew being sued? What would be a good caption for my New Yorker cartoon?
Image via J.Crew