NY Times: Levi’s Turns to Suing Its Rivals — The design for a Levi’s pocket, first used 133 years ago, has become the biggest legal battleground in U.S. fashion.
The lawsuits, which Levi’s says it is compelled to file to safeguard the defining features on its jeans, are not about the money — one settled for just $5,000 in damages. Instead, the company says, they are about removing copycats from stores. Nearly all the cases have settled out of court, with Levi’s smaller rivals agreeing to stop making the offending pants and to destroy unsold pairs.
But those competitors say the lawsuits are the last resort of a poor loser, a company that has lost billions in sales, laid off thousands of workers and flirted with bankruptcy as the denim industry exploded.