Levi takes on rivals over red-tab copycats


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The Independent Online

Knock-off denim dealers across Europe have been dealt a blow after jeans maker Levi Strauss won the right to stop rivals aping its red-tab marking.

Levi took legal action against Swiss firm Colloseum Holdings for trade-mark infringement after the company began selling jeans with a similar rectangular red cloth stitched into the seam of the rear pocket.

San Francisco-based Levi claimed consumers would spot the red “flag” on the jeans and assume they were Levi products.

Levi owns the EU trade mark on the red tab in a certain position on pockets, as well as the trade mark for the tab with the word Levi’s, but not the tab on its own.

Colloseum argued there was no risk of confusion as it printed its own brand names on the labels but the European Court of Justice sided with Levi, ruling that the tab could be seen as an integral part of the denim maker’s brand.