Fast Retailing, the corporate parent of the fast-fashion brand Uniqlo, has been expanding its retail footprint in Asia and the U.S. in recent months.
Under the new licensing agreement with RevoLaze, Fast Retailing can manufacture and sell laser-treated garments throughout the world.
“Fast Retailing is a worldwide leader in the apparel industry and dedicated to providing quality apparel through their diverse and innovative product lines,” said Darryl Costin Jr., president of RevoLaze. “Our new partnership is perfect timing as their flagship brand, Uniqlo, undergoes a massive expansion throughout the United States. We look forward to working together and providing our eco-friendly and cost-effective laser-finishing technology to their impressive collection of brands.”
“Fast Retailing, as with our 23 other licensed manufacturers and brands, now has access to our latest breakthrough technology designed to eliminate the need for hand-sanding touch-ups after laser abrasion,” Costin continued. “Our proprietary Photoshop filters work on any laser system and provide yet another solution toward sustainability and production workflow. We are dedicated toward being a total solution provider for the worldwide denim industry and look forward to our licensees taking full advantage of our RevoLaze team to achieve their ideal finishing results.”
RevoLaze was recently the complainant in a denim-technology patent infringement case at the U.S. International Trade Commission and through that case was able to successfully sign licensing agreements with several major denim companies it said had infringed on its patents.
RevoLaze, which said it holds 29 worldwide patents for laser-inscribing methods that apply graphics and patterns on a variety of material, filed a complaint with the ITC in August 2014 accusing 17 denim brands and retailers of patent infringement on certain laser-abraded denim garments, seeking a ban on those imported products.
Fast Retailing was not named in the ITC case.
In the complaint, RevoLaze asserted infringement on six patents involving laser-abraded denim technology owned by RevoLaze. The company claimed a significant portion of its intellectual property uses the laser-inscribing technology for fabrics such as denim. Used in distressed-denim jeans, the technology is an alternative to controversial sandblasting and costly washing processes.
The majority of defendants named in the case settled with RevoLaze and entered into licensing deals, including: Gap Inc., Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Guess Inc., American Eagle Outfitters Inc., VF Corp., Levi Strauss & Co. and Lucky Brand Jeans.
An ITC judge granted a motion for termination of the case in October. The judge’s initial determination will stand unless a party files a petition for review or the full commission orders its own review of it.