BACK IN COURT: Kitson and its licensee Lucas Design International are in a legal tussle again. The Southern California retailer is suing Lucas Design for failing to pay $118,296 in royalties and wrongfully selling licensed Kitson merchandise to mass-market and discount stores. In a document filed with the Superior Court of California of Los Angeles County on July 30, Kitson alleges that the distribution of the merchandise to those stores resulted in the “tarnishing and dilution of the Kitson brand.” Kitson entered into a license agreement with Lucas Design three years ago for jewelry, watches, handbags, headwear, hair accessories, belts and buckles. The agreement stipulates that the merchandise be “high end” and that Lucas Design pay Kitson royalties on licensed goods of 8 percent of all net sales. Asked about the lawsuit, Daniel Landver, chief executive officer of Lucas Design, responded, “It is a simple business dispute and the parties are working diligently to result the differences.”
This dispute isn’t the first one between Lucas Design and Kitson that has lined lawyers’ wallets. In 2010, Kitson sued Lucas Design for allegedly capitalizing on its trademark by marketing Kitson-branded tote bags without permission.
This story first appeared in the August 30, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.