Ivanka Trump has denied the allegations of Italian footwear firm Aquazzura Italia Srl that her company has knocked off one of its popular shoe styles.
The lawsuit was filed in June in a Manhattan federal court alleging trade dress infringement, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices over an Aquazurra footwear style. Specifically the lawsuit charged that Trump’s Hettie Shoe is “virtually identical” to Aquazzura’s Wild Thing. Both feature high pencil point heels with a fringe tassel at the heel and fringe covering the toes. The complaint also named as defendants IT Collection, Trump’s company, and M.B. Fisher and Marc Fisher Holdings, the footwear firm that manufactures Ivanka Trump footwear under license.
Trump filed her answer on Friday. Her company IT Collection also denied the allegations of the Italian footwear firm in a separate filing on Friday.
In its court papers, IT Collection also filed a counterclaim, seeking a declaration by the court that the overall design of a women’s shoe, for which the Italian firm is claiming trade dress protection, is not protectable because the “design lacks secondary meaning and does not function as an indicator of source.” The counterclaim also said that IT Collection is entitled to use similar designs for shoes as Aquazzura’s Wild Thing because the “overall design of the shoe is not protectable trade dress and is in the public domain.” It also is seeking a declaration that IT Collection has not infringed upon any trademark or trade dress rights that Aquazzura may own in the Wild Thing. IT Collection has asked for attorneys’ fees and costs.
M.B. Fisher filed a similar denial of the allegations as Trump, while Marc Fisher Holdings filed similar counterclaims as IT Collection. Both Marc Fisher Holdings and IT Collection said that the overall design of Wild Thing doesn’t function as trade dress because the design has not acquired a distinctiveness that would distinguish it from goods sold by other footwear companies.