Designers in California work hard every year to create new products and designs to attract customers. Unfortunately, when one designer releases a product that is identical to another's, but significantly cheaper, the original designer could lose money. Valentino has accused Steve Madden of such a transgression; the accusation has now resulted in litigation.
Valentino reportedly created and released a product with a double purse design with accent studs and an "asymmetrical pattern stripe" with accent stones. The purse also comes with with a strap with a butterfly accent. Reports indicate that Valentino holds a copyright for both the purse design and the strap.
However, it claims that Steve Madden released a product that is very similar, including the same stripe and strap. The difference, according to claims, is that Steve Madden is charging less than $150 for the bag while Valentino's version runs from $2,500 to $3,500. The plaintiff is seeking both profits from the sale of the bag it claims violates its copyright as well as monetary damages.
Copyright issues in the world of fashion can be shaky. Designers often use the same accents and colors, for example, in their designs, which does not necessary constitute a copyright violation. However, those who have seen both Valentino's purse and Steve Madden's claim that the similarities between the two are striking. Unfortunately, some designers or artists often have few options in regard to protecting their intellectual property beyond litigation. An attorney with experience with such cases can help a designer who feels his or her copyright has been infringed take appropriate action.
Source: allure.com, "Steve Madden Was Just Accused of a Major Designer Ripoff", Macaela Mackenzie, June 7, 2017