Givenchy Sues BCBG Max Azria Over Purse Design – Trade Dress

Los Angeles, CA – Givenchy, the luxury merchandise manufacturer, seems to be jumping on the trade dress bandwagon (see here and here) to prevent copying of its purse design. Instead of protecting its purse design with a design patent, Givenchy claims that its Nightingale Trade Dress “includes without limitation a removable strap, two double seemed handles, a flat bottom and decorative double stitched horizontal and vertical stripes on the exterior that visually separate the bag into four distinct quadrants.” Givenchy is going to have to show that the consuming public recognizes the trade dress as identifying the source of the purse. Givenchy claims that it has earned in excess of fifty (50) million dollars in revenue from the sale of the Nightingale handbags and that the public recognizes the trade dress.


BCBG is accused of trying to profit from Givenchy’s goodwill by selling “its knock-off ‘Rembrandt’ and other handbags that deliberately copy, line-by-line and stitch-by-stitch distinctive, non-functional elements of Givenchy’s Nightingale Trade Dress.” In addition to monetary damages, Givenchy seeks an injunction prohibiting further sales of BCBG’s handbags. The case is Givenchy S.A. v. BCBG Max Azria Group, Inc. CV10-8394 (C.D. Cal. 2010).