Ray Ban Sunglasses Maker Sees BCBG Infringement On Wayfarer TM

The Luxottica name is reflected in a pair of sunglasses in this photo illustration taken in Rome February 4, 2016.
The Luxottica name is reflected in a pair of sunglasses in this photo illustration taken in Rome February 4, 2016.

Law360, Los Angeles (June 9, 2016, 7:37 PM ET) — The maker of cheap Ray-Ban sunglasses accused BCBG Max Azria Group LLC of infringing its Wayfarer trademark in a lawsuit filed Thursday in California federal court.

Milan-based Luxottica Group SPA and affiliate Luxottica USA LLC said they have never given BCBG the license, permission or authority to use or display the Wayfarer mark in connection with any of the fashion house’s products.

The suit claims BCBG’s allegedly willful misconduct has caused confusion and misled the public over the source or origin of defendant’s products.

“Defendant’s acts complained of herein have caused Luxottica to suffer irreparable injury to its business,” the suit says. “Luxottica will suffer substantial loss of goodwill and reputation unless and until defendant is preliminarily and permanently enjoined from its wrongful actions complained of herein.”

Eyewear retailer Luxottica says it has spent considerable time and money in establishing its mark as a source of high-quality replica sunglasses. Bausch & Lomb registered the Wayfarer mark with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in 1954 and assigned it to Luxottica in 2000, according to court papers.

The suit alleges that BCBG didn’t begin using Luxottica’s mark in connection with eyewear until long after Luxottica had started using it.

The suit claims BCBG is trying to associate its eyewear products with Luxottica and the Ray-Ban Wayfarer mark to cause deception.

The suit alleges federal trademark infringement, federal unfair competition and false designation of origin, federal trademark dilution, trademark infringement under California state laws, and other claims. It seeks unspecified damages, as well as injunctions blocking BCBG from selling its products.

Representatives for BCBG didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday. Attorneys for Luxottica didn’t immediately respond to requests for comments beyond the court papers Thursday.

The trademark-at-issue is trademark registration number 595,513.

Luxottica is represented by Justin E. Pierce, Marcella Ballard and Schuyler B. Sorosky of Venable LLP.

Counsel information for the defendants wasn’t immediately available.

The case is Luxottica Group SPA et al. v. BCBG Max Azria Group LLC et al., case number 2:16-cv-04062, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.