Forever 21 attempts to involve Rhianna in Puma trade mark dispute
As reported on the Trademarkroom blog last year, sportwear brand Puma took action against clothing brand Forever 21 for trade mark and copyright infringement following the release of similar designs of footwear.
In 2015 Puma collaborated with popstar Rhianna in the creation of the footwear brand Fenty Puma by Rhianna.
Under this brand, Puma released a number of footwear designs including the Fur Slide sandal, the Bow Slide sandal and the Creeper trainer.
These became sort after styles in that year, sparking a trend.
Forever 21, soon after the release of Puma’s designs, started to produce similar designs under the brand Yoki Sneakers.
Puma filed an action stating that Forever 21 had blatantly copied their designs.
The claim progressed, with Puma suffering the blow of being unsuccessful in their request for an interim injunction to be granted against Forever 21.
It seems now to be Forever 21 who are looking to make a tactical move.
They have filed a motion for an extension to the deadline to add parties to the proceedings, which was granted until February 28th 2018.
Forver 21 argue that Rhianna should be a party to the proceedings as they have strong evidence to suggest that Puma do not have standing to bring the action.
In a statement, Forever 21 state;
“Although Puma publicly advertises that Rihanna herself designed the shoes at-issue in this litigation, Rihanna is not named as an author on Puma’s copyright applications or as an inventor on Puma’s design patent”
They continue to claim Puma’s acti8ons have amounted to a misrepresentation either in their applications to the US Copyright Office and Trade Mark and Patents Office or in the respect of stating the shoes were designed by Rhianna herself.
It will be interesting to see how this will play out and whether Rhianna will find herself in the middle of the dispute.
By Ellis Sweetenham