Store chain Hema needs to pay a 4.4 million euro fine to jeans brand Levi’s after the latter went to court because Hema applied its V-shaped stitching to its own collection.
220,000 jeans sold
The brand’s fans know it: Levi’s jeans are not only recognizable by the red flag, but also (and mainly) because of its curved V-shaped stitching on the back pockets. When the Duch store chain Hema had a very similar design, Levi Strauss & Co went to Brussels’ Commercial Court in November 2015.
The judge ruled that the chain had in fact breached Levi’s trademark: the judge pointed out the “high level of visual similarity” and considering Levi’s overall fame, he felt Hema’s intentions were clear.
That is why he sentenced Hema to a 20 euro fine for every pair of jeans sold. As it sold 220,000 pants in the Benelux, that resulted in a 4,432,060 euro fine. Hema says there are still ongoing legal procedures and until those have been finalized, it refuses to comment.