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L’Occitane Files Trade Infringement Lawsuit

The named defendants are Advanced Beauty Systems, CVS Corp., drugstore.com and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

NEW YORK — L’Occitane filed a lawsuit last month in a Manhattan federal court against a manufacturer and three retailers, alleging trade dress infringement in connection with its shea butter line of creams.

This story first appeared in the July 1, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The named defendants are Advanced Beauty Systems, CVS Corp., drugstore.com and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. ABS produces the allegedly infringing products, which L’Occitane charged are “indistinguishable” from its own higher-priced line. The retailers are included in the lawsuit for allegedly selling ABS’s Shea Soft products.

The plaintiff is seeking a permanent injunction barring the defendants from using and selling products that resemble its L’Occitane shea butter trade dress. The company is also seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, plus legal fees. In addition, it wants the court to order the defendants to undertake a corrective advertising campaign.

The defendants either declined or could not be reached for comment.