Hema wins Lacoste lawsuit

Dutch retailer Hema announced on Tuesday that it has won a lawsuit against French clothing brand Lacoste.


Hema's children's underwear featuring crocodiles and iguanas - Photo: Hema

Lacoste filed the lawsuit against Hema in October over the Dutch retailer's use of a crocodiles and iguana motif across its children's underwear range. Lacoste claimed that the crocodile motif belonged to the French label.

However, the court in The Hague determined on Tuesday that the underwear did not infringe Lacoste's intellectual property.

The judge ruled that consumers seeing the underwear at a Hema store could not "reasonably believe that they are from Lacoste" and that therefore the products could not cause confusion. The judge also argued that Hema only sells products under its own brand and that therefore customers would not expect any other brands to be on offer at the retailer, especially not a luxury brand such as Lacoste.

Hema also pointed to the price difference as a reason for having disputed the luxury brand's claims. Hema's underwear retails at €7-€8 per set of two and “Lacoste’s price point is considerably higher,” it said.

Hema added in a statement that it did not expect any other statement from the court, but is satisfied with the result.


 

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