Last week, a Paris court threw out a case against Chanel brought by World Tricot, a textile company run by Carmen Colle. Colle alleged that in 2004 she proposed a white crochet design to Chanel, which the company rejected. She further alleged that a few months later, Chanel used a similar pattern and she sued the couture house for about $3.7 million for alleged counterfeiting and breach of contract.
The case against Chanel was thrown out of court and ‘Chanel was awarded €200,000 for what the house labeled ‘a smear campaign.’” (NY Mag). It wasn’t a complete loss for Colle, the court awarded her €400,000 for breach of contract because Chanel stopped all pending order with World Tricot once the suit started.
In the ever increasing blurry world of fashion and copyright, this case was a victory for designers who were distinguished from suppliers who make things for designers. This is an interesting area of the law, especially with regard to knock-offs and it will be interesting to see how this area develops.