NEW YORK — Jones Apparel Group has filed suit against Robin Piccone and Piccone Apparel Corp. in federal court here charging infringement of its Evan-Picone trademark.

Jones, which acquired the Evan-Picone trademark from Crystal Brands Inc. in November 1993, says that since early 1991, Los Angeles-based Piccone has sold merchandise under the Robin Piccone name that is “identical or closely related to the goods marketed and sold by Jones or its predecessors.”

Jones goes on to say that the name Robin Piccone is “so similar to the Evan-Picone marks in terms of sound, appearance and overall commercial similarity” that consumers are likely to confuse the names.

As a result, Jones is seeking a permanent injunction barring Piccone from selling apparel under the Robin Piccone name, or anything similar, to “prevent the likelihood of confusion” between the names.

Jones is also asking for all merchandise bearing the designation Robin Piccone, or anything similar to its own Evan-Picone mark, to be destroyed. In addition, Jones wants an accounting and recovery of all of Piccone’s profits related to the disputed merchandise.

Robin Piccone is a Los Angeles-based designer who made her reputation initially with Body Glove swimwear. She currently does a sportswear and swimwear collection under her own name. Contacted in Los Angeles Friday at the offices of her company, Piccone Apparel, Piccone said of the suit: “It’s sort of ridiculous. Just one of those little annoyances in business.

“The intent … is to protect their trademark, but most people who know our company know we’re not out to fool anybody into thinking we’re somebody else. Our merchandise is different and is directed to totally different markets.

“We’ve been in business now for almost 10 years, and my name has always been on the label, even when I first started,” Piccone continued.

“So, I don’t know why they are doing this now. I suppose it’s because they’ve had all these changes,” she said, referring to Jones Apparel’s acquisition of the Evan-Picone trademark.

Jones is represented by Howrey & Simon, Washington, D.C.

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