Off-White RTW Spring 2017

Off-White isn’t looking to compromise with Paige over a horizontal stripe design it claims is being infringed upon.

New York federal judge Jed Rakoff on Friday ordered the lawsuit to trial, signing off on a standard scheduling order after a conference failed to yield any hope for a compromise. Discovery in the case is set to be completed by early October and a final pretrial conference is set for the first week in November.

If no resolution is to be had by then, Rakoff will set a firm trial date and Off-White and Paige will have their arguments heard before a jury.

Representatives of neither brand could be reached for comment.

Off-White, a high-end streetwear label designed by longtime Kanye West insider and collaborator Virgil Abloh, launched the court battle in late April, asking the court to declare that a graphic diagonal stripe design used on interior labels and garment tags, as well as a design element on a variety of items, is not infringing on a diagonal stripe design trademarked by Paige.

An example of Off-Whites striped label and Paige’s stripe embroidery. 

The action came after Paige sent a cease-and-desist letter to the brand’s attorneys, alleging Off-White’s now signature striped design is “so similar” to four trademarks owned by Paige that there was risk of “customer confusion” over the origin of and relationship between the brands.

Paige is also asking that Off-White withdraw a pending trademark application for its stripe logo that, if granted, would protect its use on a full range of leather goods and apparel. Paige has additionally filed a petition to have the pending application canceled.

For its part, Off-White has argued there is no risk at all of customer confusion, and noted in its complaint that the two sets of marks “have coexisted since at least as early as 2013 (i.e., for the past four years), and there is no evidence of actual confusion.”

Off-White also pointed out that the Paige trademark at issue is only used as stitching on the back pockets and certain seams of denim garments, while Off-White’s mark is not used as stitching, and said the Paige marks do not appear as a logo anywhere on its web site.

Although Off-White had attempted to negotiate with Paige out of court, the brand said a deal was impossible, given the denim company’s “overreaching requirements as to future restrictions” of Off-White’s striped mark.

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