The Commercial Court sided with Maxima Legal’s client in a complicated dispute on borrowing clothes design on a fashion market

Maksim Ali Senior Associate

The Commercial Court of St Petersburg and Leningrad Region delivered a judgement in a complicated dispute between two players of a Russian fashion market – Maxima Legal’s client, ANSE, and its competitor working under the name Goodwill.

The court considered Goodwill’s claim to challenge the antitrust authority’s decision, which in January acknowledged Goodwill’s actions as an unfair competition and ordered Goodwill to stop selling models of fake fur coats imitating ANSE clothing design.

It should be noted that in 2018 the key player on the market of eco coats in Russia ANSE in cooperation with Maxima Legal applied to the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation in St Petersburg due to the fact that Goodwill illegally borrowed design of original ANSE models.  After more than two years of litigation, the antitrust authority ruled on the dispute, recognizing Goodwill’s actions as an unfair competition and prohibiting imitation of ANSE products.

This dispute is important for the entire fashion industry, because it shows that with a proper work with an evidence base can not only establish the borrowing of clothing design, but also to refute the infringer’s argument that he “just follows fashion trends. In the process of working on the case, Maxima Legal team of lawyers collected a large amount of evidence: they conducted “a control purchases” from the offender and his distributors, received compromising explanations from the offender’s former and current partners, and organised some expert reviews of the case. All this work helped to show not only the antitrust authority, but also the court that there was indeed an unfair competition.

ANSE with the assistance of Maxima Legal is engaged in recovery of losses from the unfair competitor, based, inter alia, on the materials of the proceedings in the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation.