Copyright infringement claims were raised against Demna Gvasalia by the fashion community in Thailand for its Balenciaga bag collection. The community asserted that the jumbo striped, “rainbow” bags were replicas of the traditional Thai bag.
Referred to as the “Sampheng bag,” the Thai version sells for under a buck and is a and is visible everywhere. Retailers and consumers clamor for the bag because it offers plenty of room for merchandise its ease and is comfortable to handle.
In response to the accusations, the Department of Intellectual Property Thailand released a statement about the claims leveled at designer Demna Gvasalia. “It’s unlikely anybody can sue Balenciaga because the materials and shapes are different.” The department contends that although the bags have a similar design, they are not replicas. They said that although the bag is used in Thailand, it’s not illegal for it to be used elsewhere in the world. For a true replica to be sold, it must be manufactured in the color, shape, pattern and fabric. The Department of Intellectual Property stated in most copyright infringement claims, there is a fake trademark sewn or imprinted on the article in question. This bolsters consumers belief’s it’s a recognizable brand.
This isn’t the first time that Demna Gvasalia has reworked or re-purposed a recognizable logo to complement a product line it’s introducing. Gvasalia and his brother created the Vetements brand-name. In a scenario of a so-called hijacking of a recognized brand, Gvasalia dressed catwalk models in DHL logo tee-shirts. Designers are testing the limits as to how far they can go before they are involved in copyright and infringement claims. Céline, Louis Vuitton, and other respected name brands have released similar appearance market bags without incurring liability.
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