Copycat Chanel

After seven years fashion house Chanel has lost a lawsuit against a subcontractor: a Paris court decided that Chanel was guilty of plagiarism, after copying a creation of its former subcontractor World Tricot. Meanwhile World Tricot has gone bankrupt: “all doors suddenly closed on us”.

It started in 2004 when World Tricot founder Carmen Colle saw a familiar pattern in a Tokyo Chanel-store. This pattern was designed by World Tricot, but has been rejected by Chanel.

In first instance Chanel won the case, including €200.000,- in damages. The courtroom that Chanel collaborated on the design. The appeal, however, was positive for World Tricot. The awarded damages have to be refunded. World Tricot states that this case has been important for all contractors working for large companies.

A case like this is always difficult, as the actual facts are important; was there any collaboration, who did the actual designing, is there a contract? Facts like there (except for the contract) are often difficult to prove.

Knijff Merkenadviseurs

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