WASHINGTON — Fashion Box SpA, one of 17 companies named in a denim technology patent infringement case before the U.S. International Trade Commission, has agreed to settle and enter into a licensing agreement with the complainant, RevoLaze LLC and Technolines LLC, according to a new motion filed with the ITC.
This story first appeared in the November 11, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Fashion Box, an Italian denim manufacturer and maker of the Replay brand, and RevoLaze filed a joint motion to terminate the complaint “by settlement.” Details about the settlement and licensing deal were not made public, but RevoLaze confirmed the settlement and licensing deal. Technolines is a majority partner in Revolaze.
The motion for termination will go before an administrative law judge overseeing the ITC case for review and a ruling. If the judge grants the motion, it will then be subject to a review or possible modification by the commission. If the motion is denied, it would lead to further proceedings before the judge.
“RevoLaze is pleased to have consummated a licensing agreement with Replay and we look forward to working together in the future,” the company said.
Fashion Box is the only company so far to settle the ITC complaint, which asserts infringement on six patents involving laser-abraded denim technology, and targets major brands and retailers, including Levi Strauss & Co., VF Corp., Guess Inc., Gap Inc., Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and American Eagle Outfitters Inc.
The ITC said last month it would initiate an investigation into the complaint filed by RevoLaze, a Westlake, Ohio-based laser-technology firm, which claims to hold 29 worldwide patents for laser-inscribing methods that apply graphics and patterns on a variety of materials. The company claims a significant portion of its intellectual property uses the laser-scribing technology for fabrics such as denim. Used in distressed denim jeans, the technology is an alternative to controversial sandblasting and costly washing processes.
The complaint seeks the imposition of a “general exclusion order” that would direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to stop all of the allegedly infringing denim imports from the 17 companies from entering the U.S. RevoLaze also seeks a limited-exclusion order or cease-and-desist orders banning imports of the products into the country.
Other companies cited in the complaint are Diesel SpA of Italy, Eddie Bauer LLC, Hennes & Mauritz AB, Roberto Cavalli, The Buckle Inc., Koos Manufacturing Inc., Lucky Brand Dungarees Inc., BBC Apparel Group LLC and Gotham Licensing Corp.
Several of the major retailers and brands named in the complaint have accused RevoLaze and Technolines of deception and are claiming the six patents at the heart of the laser-abraded denim technology case are invalid and unenforceable.