By  on January 28, 2009

LOS ANGELES — Tony Duquette Inc. has sued Michael Kors Inc. for trademark infringement, alleging that Kors produced and marketed a ready-to-wear 2008-’09 resort collection using the late designer’s name, image and designs without permission or license.

Pieces in the collection had names such as Duquette Sheath Dress and Duquette Kimono Sleeve Dress, the suit said.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California by Tony Duquette Inc. and Hutton Wilkinson, the president and creative director, seeks unspecified damages and injunctive relief. It contends Kors used photographs, images and patterns from 2007’s “Tony Duquette” (Abrams Books) and images of Duquette and Wilkinson, his longtime business partner and co-designer, in advertising and promoting the Kors collection.

The malachite pattern used in the book’s jacket has allegedly been used in Kors’ printed marketing materials and on its Web site. In a video produced for the Web site, Kors speaks about being inspired by Duquette and the Abrams book, from which images are shown.

A Kors spokesman said, “We don’t comment on pending litigation.”

Wilkinson was not available for comment.

Duquette, whose work included designs for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Elizabeth Arden and has been exhibited at the Louvre Museum, won a Tony Award for costume design for the original Broadway production of “Camelot.” Tony Duquette Inc. was established by Duquette in order to pursue commercial enterprises, including jewelry, interiors, furniture, textiles and art pieces. After Duquette’s death in 1999, Wilkinson took the helm and continues to design, license, promote and market the company’s designs and products.

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