New York, Aug 28 (ANI): Zephyrs, a New Jersey retailer of Italian hosiery, is suing Victoria's Secret and its parent company Limited Brands Inc. for using images of its sexy stockings on its packaging and displays while selling the consumer a lower-quality product.
The company alleges that the lingerie giant uses cheaper, knockoff hosiery to cut costs, thereby endangering its business and reputation.
Victoria's Secret changed the product in the packaging but didn't change anything else except Made in Canada on the back of the package, the New York Daily News quoted Joseph Gioconda of Gioconda Law Group PLLC as telling Women's Wear Daily.
It used to say Made in Italy, he said.
The company claims the inferior thigh-highs have irregular borders, missing heel reinforcements and shoddier construction.
The company is suing for 15 million dollars, claiming unfair competition and false advertising.
Zephyr is also asking the court to order Victoria's Secret to yank the misleading packaging and displays, and to issue a recall for its Lace Top Fish Net Stockings, Fish Net Thigh-Highs With Backseam, and Signature Stripe Thigh-High With Bows.
The suit also claims that Victoria's Secret is strong-arming them into signing an agreement that would demand they surrender all their designs and intellectual property.
Gioconda told the legal blog Above the Law that his client's case has serious legs.
As the jury's verdict in the Apple/Samsung decision reflects, designers' rights must be protected, regardless of whether the infringer is a small, fly-by-night operation or a large corporation, he said. (ANI)