High-end athletic wear maker Lululemon is arguing that the folks at Under Armour are big fat copycats.
The first of those two companies filed a lawsuit in federal court in Delaware last week over a patent on one of its sports bras, arguing Under Armour has replicated the design in four different pieces of sporting underwear, according to a July 10 report from Hollywood Reporter. The original garment in question, the so-called Energy bra, sells for $52.
The key point of this dispute is the straps. Lululemon brought out the four-strap design in 2011, and secured a patent for the look three years later. Under Armour, meanwhile, is selling four cheaper bras costing between $20 and $40 that use the same four-strap approach.
Lululemon’s lawsuit says the South Baltimore athletic wear innovators’ bras are “so similar in design to the trade dress that they are likely to cause confusion, mistake, and deception.” The Vancouver-based firm argues the alleged replication will cause “irreparable damage to lululemon and its business.”
A copy of the lawsuit shared by the American Bar Association Journal indicates Lululemon wants an injunction stopping Under Armour from selling its cheaper bras, plus damages from where UA has profited from those sales.
According to the Post, these lawsuits are rare, largely because fashions change frequently and companies therefore rarely spend the time, money and effort trying to patent their products.
Under Armour may have been surprised by the filing (or maybe not), but the Locust Point-based apparel giant isn’t shy of trademark lawsuits. A couple years ago, the company carried out a dragnet legal battle against other companies that were also using variations of the word “armor” in their names.
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