California Intellectual Property Blog


Ralph Lauren Gets Hit with Patent Infringement Claims Over Handbag

purseLos Angeles – American fashion icon and designer Ralph Lauren has come under fire of allegations that it has infringed the patent of an individual inventor. Jimmy Bryan has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the brand in Texas, claiming that one of its high end handbags infringes his own patent for a bag that comes equipped with a light and phone charging capability.

The Ralph Lauren bag at issue is the “Ricky”, which comes in several color variations and which has been a popular seller for the brand for years. The wearable technology version rolled out this past winter and is still available for purchase on the designer’s website for $5,000. According to the brand, the “iconic accessory takes up to 12 hours to construct and features rose-gold-plated-brass hardware engraved with our logo and a contrasting Purple calfskin lining that adds a rich pop of color”. Loaded with a USB charger and LED light, the bag automatically lights up when opened and allows for the charging of mobile devices while on the go, eliminating the need to stop and plug in at an electrical outlet.

Bryan’s ten page complaint lays out his claim that Ralph Lauren “has infringed and continues to infringe the patent by making, using, offering to sell, selling, distributing, and/or importing into the United States its Ricky Bag With Light, which is a receptacle with the precise electric accessory system at issue with the Patents-in-Suit.” Though Mr. Bryan has not manufactured any technology enabled bags of his own, he is seeking that Ralph Lauren be ordered to cease production of the items based on a finding of patent infringement.

The illuminated Ricky Bag is one of several products in production by Ralph Lauren that are part of its wearable technology line. The company also makes the “Polotech” shirt, which takes the brand’s iconic polo shirt and adds biometric tracking features that can keep track of the wearer’s heart rate, steps taken and calories burned. Ralph Lauren is just one of several brands adding smart clothing and accessories to its product lines. Many other popular retailers have followed suit, including Rebecca Minkoff with its Bluetooth enabled bracelets and Victoria’s Secret, which carries a fitness tracking sports bra.


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