Trademark News & Screw-ups Ivanka Ordered To Testify In Trademark Dispute With Italian Shoemaker

Aside from the issue of personalities, and whether the shoes are indeed similar (they are very much alike), the question is whether Aquazzura has a protectable right in the overall look of their shoes, and if yes, protectable how. The headline states that it's a trademark dispute, which is not entirely accurate. Technically, Aquazzura claims rights in the design of their shoes not through a trademark but through "trade dress," which is how you protect a recognizable shape of the product itself or its packaging. It can be registered as long as the design is distinctive and not functional. However, from Aquazzura's claim it follows that they haven't registered the trade dress of this shoe. Interestingly, the only two entries for "Aquazzura" in the USPTO database are owned by one of Aquazzura's shareholders, a Monaco individual, Ricardo António Reis De Almeida Figueiredo, rather than Aquazzura Italia SRL. Failure to register trade dress doesn't mean it cannot be enforced, but the path to victory would be more difficult. It would be interesting to follow this one.

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