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Van Cleef & Arpel sues Heidi Klum, Mouawad


December 23, 2007/3.16

Reuter reports that Van Cleef & Arpel ?led a lawsuit in New York last Friday against Heidi Klum GmbH and Mouawad USA, alleging that its Alhambra clover design had been copied and that the companies bene?ted from its reputation. Van Cleef & Arpel claims $25,000.
   In copyright, the plaintiff has the onus in proving objective similarity, which may be dif?cult. The defendants may be able to discharge the claim by showing their developmental work. Van Cleef & Arpel may have to show that it is closely associated with the clover design and has established goodwill in it.
   Without reading the pleadings, Lucire’s observation is that the similarity is not immediately evident based on some of the better known Alhambra pieces. The Alhambra line is inspired by a four-leaf clover, as are the defendants’ designs, but their respective executions differ. When seeing the Klum and Mouawad designs, van Cleef & Arpel does not immediately come to mind—there are closer copies such as those that claim to be directly ‘inspired’ by the jeweller at Overstock Jeweler.

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Filed by Jack Yan

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