Brooklyn Lighthouse, a children's apparel retailer that appears to cater to hypebeasts under the age of 10, is being slapped with a lawsuit by one of many brands it appears to take "inspiration" from: Off-White.
As first reported by The Fashion Law, Virgil Abloh's successful streetwear-meets-high-fashion label is suing Brooklyn Lighthouse for trademark infringement of its federally registered trademarks, including its alternating parallel diagonal lines and two intersecting dual-sided arrows. Certain products even just straight-up say "Off-White" on them, despite not being in any way authorized by the brand to do so. However, Off-White does not appear to have been able to trademark its signature quotation marks, since they are not mentioned in the complaint despite being present on Brooklyn Lighthouse's products.
Off-White alleges that the Brooklyn Lighthouse products in question are "nearly indistinguishable from the Off-White Products, with only minor variations that no ordinary consumer would recognize." After discovering the infringing products in August of this year, Off-White says it purchased two products and then sent a cease-and-desist letter. The two parties then engaged in a back-and-forth but ultimately, according to the complaint, the defendant Brooklyn Lighthouse didn't fully comply with the cease-and-desist requests.
Off-White also named additional brands it felt Brooklyn Lighthouse has been infringing on including Champion, Supreme and Gucci. (Upon a quick perusal, it appears that Yeezy, designed by Abloh's friend Kanye West, might also be among them.)
"Defendant has caused substantial monetary loss and irreparable injury and damage to Off-White, its business, its reputations and its valuable rights in and to the Off-White Marks and the goodwill associated therewith, in an amount as yet unknown, but to be determined at trial," reads the complaint, which accuses Brooklyn Lighthouse of counterfeiting, infringement of registered trademarks and of false designation of origin, passing off and unfair competition, deception, false advertising and unjust enrichment, meaning keeping money from deceptive practices.
Off-White is seeking injunctive relief, damages for the "irreparable harm that Off-White has sustained, and will sustain," all "gains, profits and advantages obtained by Defendant" as a result of its actions, enhanced discretionary damages, treble damages and/or statutory damages of up to $2,000,000 per counterfeit mark per type of goods sold, offered for sale or distributed, and attorneys' fees. It also wants a jury trial. Brooklyn Lighthouse declined to comment.
It sounds like this may not be the last Off-White lawsuit we see. A passage in the complaint reads:
"Particularly in light of Off-White's success, the Off-White Products and the reputation they have gained, Off-White and its Off-White Products have become targets for unscrupulous individuals and entities that wish to exploit the goodwill, reputation and fame that Off-White has amassed in its Off-White Products and Off-White Marks, and Off-White investigates and enforces against such activities."
That said, Off-White itself has been on the receiving end of a lawsuit over one of the very same trademarks it's suing over, though clearly that trademark has yet to be canceled.
We'll be keeping an eye on this case and will report back with any major updates.