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Givenchy filed a federal lawsuit against BCBG Max Azria Group Inc.

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BAG WARS: Givenchy filed a federal lawsuit against BCBG Max Azria Group Inc. in the Western Division of California’s Central District, alleging that its Nightingale bag, retailing for $2,175, is the object of trade dress infringement by the young contemporary line BCBGeneration’s Rembrandt bag, which retailed for $118 but is no longer available for sale.

Givenchy said it has earned more than $50 million in revenue from the sale of the Nightingale bags. The lawsuit accused BCBG of trying to profit by selling “its knockoff Rembrandt and other handbags that deliberately copy, line-by-line and stitch-by-stitch, distinctive, nonfunctional elements of Givenchy’s Nightingale Trade Dress.”

In addition to monetary damages, Givenchy is seeking an injunction prohibiting further sales of BCBGeneration’s handbags. The 26-page complaint alleged that BCBG “unlawfully copies and imitates” the Givenchy bag and that the BCBGeneration bags are “likely to cause consumers, the public and the trade to erroneously believe that [they]…are authorized, sponsored and/or approved by Givenchy when, in fact, they are not.” Givenchy said its Nightingale trade dress “includes, without limitation, a removable strap, two double-seamed handles, a flat bottom and decorative double-stitched horizontal and vertical stripes on the exterior that visually separate the bag into four distinct quadrants.”

Attorneys for Paris-based Givenchy and BCBG were not available for comment at press time, but a BCBG spokesman said, “BCBG Max Azria is confident that Givenchy’s claims are meritless, and intends to defend the matter vigorously.”

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