Rains, an Aarhus-based outerwear company, filed an infringement lawsuit against Zara’s parent company, stating that they have copied two of their signature raincoat designs. They filed the lawsuit under Danish law in April 2017.
These two designs include Rains’ popular $125 “Long Jacket” and $135 “Parka” styles. According to the claim, Zara has marketed and sold products which infringe Rains Trademark for a fraction of price from 2015 to 2017. Zara was not willing to settle this dispute which in turn forced Rains to file a lawsuit.
Rains pointed out that their Long Jacket and Parka Coat have been marketed intensively by them since 2012. The marketing is done through a number of international channels and social media platforms including Instagram. These products have gained internal recognition since its inception. According to the claim, Zara has blatantly copied the raincoat designs, so that they can benefit from Rains’ reputation and eventually increase their sales.
The suit cited section 1 of the Marketing Practices Act & Danish case law, according to which, copying the appearance of products, which have reached the level of secondary meaning is unlawful. The company has presented evidence in favour of their claim. They submitted declarations from Jiang Hiajun and Wu Xinqiang, the owners of two garment factories in China. According to their declaration, they were approached by Zara with a copy of Rains products and were asked to manufacture identical products.
Rains is seeking injunctive relief, permanently preventing Zara from further infringing their designs. They are also asking for monetary damages from Zara, based on the volume of the coats sold by them. The final verdict in favour of either of these companies is yet to come in this case.