Orange County Based Hurley Sues Old Navy For Patent Infringement

By Joseph Mandour on August 7, 2012

Patent Law FirmOrange County – Old Navy recently escaped a trademark infringement lawsuit involving a Manhattan street merchant, only to be sued for patent infringement over a pair of shorts shortly thereafter. In the new case, Hurley International filed a complaint for patent infringement against the clothing retailer. The lawsuit alleges that Old Navy copied the revolutionary design of Hurley’s patented “water shorts” in its printed and solid board shorts.

Hurley specializes in surfboards and surf apparel, and argues that Old Navy has blatantly copied its innovative and patented designs. The board shorts in question are designed with such a revolutionary combination of materials that two U.S. patents protect them. According to Hurley, the innovative shorts are comprised of a rigid waistband and a certain proportion of high-tech, stretchy body material. The two patents, numbers 7,849,518 and 8,214,922, were granted in 2010 for “water shorts incorporating a stretch textile”. Hurley is asking for an injunction to stop the retailer from selling the offending board shorts, as well as damages and attorney’s fees. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and will be presided over by Judge Cormac J. Carney.

Old Navy, a division of The Gap Inc., has increased its popularity by introducing budget friendly versions of popular fashion trends. The now wildly popular retailer was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in San Francisco. Hurley International was founded in Orange County, California in 1981 and then sold for an undisclosed amount to Nike in 2002. It is likely that fans of the two companies will be watching closely to see which retailer will prevail. A win for Hurley could unleash a torrent of similar lawsuits by companies noticing similarities between product designs and the new trends being produced by Old Navy.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement