NEW YORK — In February, The Bag Lady Inc., which sells handbags under the Kooba brand name, filed a trade dress infringement lawsuit against Accessory Network Group; its chief executive officer, Abe Chehebar, and Nordstrom Inc. According to court documents, Kooba alleged that the named defendants “undertook to duplicate, manufacture, sell and distribute” a handbag style that infringed on the trade dress of Bag lady’s Claudia bag, part of the spring 2005 collection. The lawsuit includes claims of trade dress infringement and common law unfair competition.

“We disagree with [Kooba’s] claim. We believe that it has no merit, and we will be responding legally through the courts,” said Chehebar. The design in question is part of an industrywide trend to put studs on bags, he said. Nordstrom did not return calls for comment by press time.

Kooba asked the court for preliminary and permanent injunctions against Accessory Network Group, Chehebar, and Nordstrom. Additionally, the company asked for actual and punitive damages, for the destruction of any allegedly infringing product and for corrective advertising to run in any publication that advertised the allegedly infringing bags.

Cartier, a division of Richemont North America, and Cartier International BV filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Georgetown Fine Jewelry & Art and 10 John Does in Manhattan federal court Feb. 27. Cartier alleged that Georgetown added diamonds after market to genuine Cartier watches. The allegations of the lawsuit include registered trademark infringement, false designation of origin, and common law trademark infringement and unfair competition, according to court documents. Cartier asked the court to permanently restrain Georgetown from altering its watches. Cartier also asked that the defendant be required to submit a report to the court, written under oath, affirming how it complies with the permanent injunction. Cartier asked for damages and profits allegedly derived by Georgetown for the acts in question, plus prejudgment interest and the costs of the trial. Georgetown did not return calls for comment by press time.

North Face Apparel Corp. was awarded a million-dollar judgment by a Manhattan federal court in late January in a lawsuit concerning allegedly counterfeit jackets, according to a release from VF Corp., the U.S. licensee of the company. The judgment was entered against Nabil Saleh, Ibrahim Saleh and Toufic Saleh, who operated a number of corporate entities. The original lawsuit was filed in 2003 against a group of defendants, many of whom previously settled. According to North Face, permanent injunctions and money damages of more than $40,000 were obtained against some of the other named defendants. The named defendants could not be reached for comment.

This story first appeared in the March 6, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

A final judgment on consent was entered in a Cartier lawsuit filed against Jackie Bertone and the Bertone Group, which does business as Premier Leasing. The original lawsuit alleged trademark infringement, false designation of source origin, unfair competition and dilution. The lawsuit alleged that Bertone sold genuine Cartier watches that had been altered.

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