It (Legally) Ain't Ralph, Tho: Ralph Lauren Wins a Counterfeit Case in Italy
This is what happened when one Italian textile company tried to profit off the Ralph Lauren name and logo.
Image via Complex Original
The Italian court has ruled in favor of Ralph Lauren in a case against Italy-based Fratelli Martinelli Textile Srl, a textile company reportedly guilty of creating and selling counterfeit Ralph Lauren merchandise. Fratelli Martinelli Textile Srl used Ralph Lauren's iconic Polo player logo to sell a line of home accessories and linen.
Guess it really ain't ralph tho.
According to a report published in the Corriere della Sera, a daily Italian newspaper, Fratelli Martinelli Textile Srl not only ripped off Ralph’s logo, but also named the line of products, “American Polo Sporting Club.” The court ordered Fratelli Martinelli Textile Srl to remove and destroy all related merchandise, products, and promotional materials. Additionally, they were ordered to pay Ralph Lauren 75,000 euros, roughly $100,000. It’s all the result of a lengthy legal battle that started in November 2011 when The Polo/Lauren Co. LP and its local distributor, RL Fashions of Europe, filed a complaint against Fratelli Martinelli Textile Srl.
“We are very pleased with this decision and that the court recognized and acknowledged the uniqueness of the Ralph Lauren logo and polo player," said a Ralph Lauren spokesperson. "We will continue to defend our brands and heritage against attempts to infringe on our intellectual property rights or to copy our unique trademarks and logos."
This isn't the first time a company or brand has tried to piggyback off of Ralph Lauren's success. In 2011, the defended itself against the U.S. Polo Association that used an a logo that was nearly identical to the label's polo horse. The U.S. Polo Association claimed that Ralph Lauren was "attempting to monopolize the depiction of the sport of polo." However, the judge ruled against USPA, concluding that their logo would confuse customers.
Chalk it up as another win for Ralph.