Levi strauss is suing two Chinese trademark infringement companies, as talk of a trade war that could directly affect the American cowboy icon is rising.
The company confirmed to Business Insider that it began taking legal action against Chinese companies last year with a similar arched curve, which is a trademark stitch on the back pocket of Levi’s.
“Levi Strauss&Co. Can confirm it on November 20, 2017 of China’s third party brought about trademark infringement” arcuate “stitching design trademark rights of litigation,” the company told the Business Insider, saying it is lawsuit “wait for court decision.”
The local Beijing court, which dealt with the matter, posted details of the lawsuit this week on its WeChat page. According to the court, Levi strauss seems to have sued China enterprise management and guangzhou victory garment co., LTD., using “the same or similar logo.”
Levi’s is seeking $47,000 in damages and is demanding the destruction of its cargo and asking manufacturers to make a statement in the Chinese journal of intellectual property.
The American company has been successful in defending its trademark in China.
In 2012, Levi’s won China’s first joint infringement case against a local brand using a similar design. The company sought $150,000 in damages, but the company received a third of the compensation because it could not prove the number of infringing jeans sold.
In the past few decades, Levi’s has applied for at least 11 pocket design trademarks, according to a trademark database searched by Business Insider. Only two have been approved.
Levi’s application is a standard practice in trying to prevent other companies from using other brands’ intellectual property, a practice that is common in China. Two former senior U.S. defense officials told the New York times last year that Chinese intellectual property theft costs the U.S. $600 billion a year.
While the U.S. -china relationship is currently focused on steel and aluminum tariffs, U.S. President Donald trump plans to attack intellectual property theft next.
Report last year, an American trade representative, accused China of “extensive infringement activities – including trade secret theft, rampant piracy and counterfeiting, and a high level of worldwide actual piracy and counterfeit exports.”
Peter navarro, the White House trade adviser, said on Thursday that Mr Trump would make recommendations on China’s theft in the coming weeks.
“It will be one of the many steps that the President has taken to address unfair trade practices,” navarro told CNBC television.
But even before the discussion of intellectual property theft began, Levi’s itself was the target of a potential trade war.
In response to Mr Trump’s duties, jean-claude juncker, the President of the eu’s governing body, said he would impose tariffs on iconic American products.
“We will impose tariffs on harley-davidson, bourbon and blue jeans – levy,” Mr. Juncker said.
This is a smart move based on headquarters politics. The two companies are located in Wisconsin, California, speaker of the house of representatives were including Paul Ryan and house minority leader Nancy pelosi – it is the leaders of the country want to change the trump tariff.
Also see: trade war ‘injury promoter’ : the Chinese foreign minister has just issued a warning to the United States about the tariff on trump.