Lululemon Athletica Inc. (Lululemon), a Canadian clothing company, settled a lawsuit on Tuesday with Calvin Klein Inc. [corporate websites] over alleged patent infringement of yoga pants. A spokesperson for Lululemon said that the terms of the settlement are confidential [Reuters report]. After both companies agreed to settle, Lululemon withdrew the case in a filing in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware. In Lululemon Athletica Canada, Inc., v. Calvin Klein, Inc., Lululemon sued Calvin Klein for unspecified damages for infringement [Bloomberg report] of three different patents. Specifically one design patent [JURIST op-ed] protecting the distinctive waistband around Lululemon's best-selling yoga pants. The patent protects all Lululemon products sold in the US, including their famous Astro Pant name.
JURIST Guest Columnist Louise Lau analyzed [JURIST op-ed] the effects that Lululemon's design patent lawsuit against Calvin Klein might have on the fashion industry in a Dateline piece. "In an industry that has traditionally accepted inspiration and appropriation as the status quo, Lululemon Athletica's lawsuit against Calvin Klein Inc., speaks loudly to the shifting paradigm of the application of intellectual property law to the fashion industry. The high-end yoga and sports apparel maker filed a complaint in the US District Court for the District of Delaware alleging that Calvin Klein's Performance Pant infringes on Lululemon's design patent for its Astro Pant. Design patents offer protection to the ornamental features of a creation. This presents challenges in the fashion industry because the limited life of certain pieces from season to season rarely warrant a patent."