A patent designer has filed a patent infringement lawsuit in Texas federal court alleging Ralph Lauren Corp. knocked off his design for a handbag with an interior that illuminates and can also charge electrical devices.
In his 10-page complaint, Jimmy Bryan claimed that the company is using his two patents for its own designs. Bryan alleges that Ralph Lauren “has infringed and continues to infringe the patent by making, using, offering to sell, selling, distributing, and/or importing into the United States its Ricky Bag With Light, which is a receptacle with the precise electric accessory system at issue with the Patents-in-Suit.”
Bryan does not have any bags for sale but did at one time through a licensing agreement — although that was some years ago — according to his attorney Bradley Reeves of the Houston-based firm Coats Rose. His lawsuit hinges though on patent protection.
Bryan’s suit also lists Ralph Lauren Retail, Leoht Inc. and Kickstarter Inc. Leoht handbags with built-in battery, USB chargers, interior lighting and wireless recharging were first sold online via Kickstarter.
A Ralph Lauren spokesman said Friday that the company does not comment on legal matters. A spokesman for the Brooklyn-based Kickstarter declined to comment Friday. Carnise McIntosh, who has designed handbags that illuminate that are on pre-order for the e-commerce company Leoht, could not be reached for comment.
Reeves said Friday that he had not yet heard from any of the plaintiffs, but he expects to within the next couple of weeks.