November 29, 2019
The Guangzhou IP Court recently determined that the Guangzhou Lifeng Textile Company infringed on the arcuate design that appears on the back pockets of Levi Strauss & Co.’s (“Levi’s”) jeans. Lifeng was ordered to immediately cease distribution of their product and pay 30,000 yuan to Levi’s in damages and costs.
Approximately two years ago, Levi’s found jeans with the arcuate design on the pockets were being sold via an online retailer named Gulanger Clothing Flagship and sued Gulanger for trademark infringement. Gulanger fought the allegations, arguing that it had not intended to infringe the trademark as it did not know that the design had been registered. The trial court found for Levi’s and Gulanger appealed the decision to the Guangzhou IP court, which also ruled in Levi’s favour.
Levi’s has been using the arcuate design for nearly 150 years, and first registered the trademark in 1943. Aligned with the company’s position as a globally-recognized brand, Levi’s has since registered the same trademark in more than 100 countries and regions, including in China in 2005.
Authors: Amanda Bertucci and Zach Hershenfeld