Los Angeles – Although Lululemon Athletica has built a reputation based on the promotion of the peaceful practice of yoga, it recently showed the world that it is ready to fight if necessary. The yoga and athletic apparel manufacturer proved this point when it initiated a lawsuit against clothing giants Calvin Klein and G-III Apparel Group, over the design of its pricey yoga pants. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Delaware, accuses both Klein and G-III of infringing on three separate patents related to its high-tech yoga pants. Lululemon is seeking an injunction to prevent further sales of the infringing products, as well as damages from lost profits, a reasonable royalty award, disgorgement of Calvin Klein profits, and court related costs.
In its court documents, Lululemon alleges that Calvin Klein’s “Performance” brand incorporates the same waistband and other design elements as Lululemon’s patented pants. In particular, Lululemon produces an “Astro” line of yoga pants and crop pants with a signature overlapping style waistband. The pants are made from Lululemon’s trademarked Luon fabric and incorporate the unique patented waistband. The waistband in question is v-shaped and formed by angular pieces of cloth that can be rolled so that the pants sit higher or lower on the waist. Lululemon is claiming Calvin Klein produces pants with the same waistline style at a significantly reduced price.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. is based in Vancouver, Canada and was founded in 1998. The brand was created in response to increased female participation in sports and a rise in the popularity of yoga. To extend its support of yoga as a healthful and beneficial practice, every Lululemon Athletica offers free yoga classes. The company offers health benefits and growth opportunities to its employees and customers at store locations. In addition to its elevated standards in business practices, treatment of employees and attention to customer satisfaction, the apparel company has a reputation for making high quality and expensive yoga pants with sophisticated designs and high-tech materials. Additionally, the Vancouver based apparel manufacturer has become well known for its use of unique fabric choices, proprietary blend of signature fabrics, moisture wicking and 4-way stretch material. Lululemon currently holds at least 14 separate U.S. patents for its athletic apparel and specific design elements.
G-III Apparel Group Ltd. was founded in 1956, and has grown into a major designer and manufacturer of outerwear, apparel, sportswear, handbags and luggage. Through a series of licensing agreements, G-III currently produces products under the following brand names: Jones New York, Sean John, Timberland, Kenneth Cole, Calvin Klein, Ellen Tracy, Tommy Hilfiger and many more.
The famous designer with the same name founded Calvin Klein in 1968. Based in the fashion Mecca of New York City, the clothing house was sold to Philips Van Heusen in 2002 and is now a wholly owned subsidiary of PVH.