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Gucci Accused Of Copyright Infringement Over Its Phone Cases With Card Holders
By Izza Sofia, 12 Jul 2018
In the game of fashion, the true money makers aren’t exactly brands’ runway garments, but rather the handbags, footwear and small leather goods. As such, a problem arose when Gucci started selling iPhone cases that came with credit card holders on their backs.
CardShark, LLC, which produces smartphone accessories, has filed a lawsuit in New York Federal courts against Gucci. It alleges that the Italian brand has infringed on its patent by including this card pocket design on its products.
CardShark claimed that Gucci had “directly and indirectly infringed” its utility patent “number 8,381,904,” which relates to a “wireless handheld protective wallet” that comes with a window housing located at the front of the product, a rear protective face, and an external pocket that allows easy storage of cards or notes.
The latest Gucci phone cases, including the ‘GG Supreme bees iPhone 7’ case, ‘Gucci Animalier Bee Leather iPhone 7’ case, ‘Gucci Embroidered Angry Cat GG Supreme iPhone 7’ case and ‘Gucci GG Love iPhone 7’ case all carry the features as detailed in the patent filing—as alleged by CardShark.
Due to the infringement, CardShark said that the company has suffered in damages and the amount can only “be proven at trial.” Historically, it is unlikely this case will even see the light of a courtroom, as recent cases filed by CardShark against other brands such as Kate Spade and Michael Kors have all been settled without going to trial.
Gucci could potentially argue for its case as the scope of CardShark’s patent is broad. Furthermore, CardShark does not own exclusive rights to all phone cases that carry back pockets. Therefore, the company does not have the right to stop other companies from making such a phone case design.
Settlements have proven to be the most frequent outcome in patent infringement allegations, as it is significant cheaper for the accused to simply settle or agree to a licensing fee of US$100,000 instead of depending on a court ruling in their favor.
[via The Fashion Law, opening image via Tomoris]
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