Times Three Clothier LLC has filed a lawsuit against LF USA Inc. for patent infringement. LF USA is a U.S. subsidiary of privately held Li & Fung Limited, the Hong Kong-based sourcing and apparel manufacturing conglomerate.
This story first appeared in the January 25, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Dec. 22 in Manhattan federal court, alleges that LF USA infringed several of its patents by making and selling products under the Logo Instant Chic by Lori Goldstein brand. The complaint also notes that it informed LF USA of the patents in question at least as early as Jan. 20, 2010, but LF USA manufactured and sold the knockoff garments despite a cease and desist letter on Sept. 21, 2011.
Heather Thomson-Schindler, who serves as Times Three’s president, said she was “forced to file a lawsuit.”
“Rick Darling [president of LF USA] called me to discuss my three-panel tank prior to its patent filing….He wanted to meet me, and I brought my business partner Eric Rothfeld with me. [Darling] thought I had a great idea, but he never followed up. Then we found knockoffs in the market. That’s when I decided to protect our intellectual property.…The knockoffs are still on the market,” said Thomson-Schindler.
Officials at LF USA could not be reached.
This is not the first time Thomson-Schindler — a former stylist for Sean John by Sean Combs, Sweetface by Jennifer Lopez and House of Deréon by Beyoncé Knowles — has sought patent protection for her Yummie Tummie shapewear designs.
In August 2011, a $6.75 million settlement agreement was reached between Maidenform Brands Inc. and Times Three Clothier. The litigation involved copyright design patent infringement of Yummie Tummie designs and Maidenform’s multimillion-dollar Fat Free Dressing by Flexees line of shapewear.