FRANKFURT: Sportswear firm Puma has won an injunction to stop fashion designer Philipp Plein from selling clothes in Germany bearing a tiger logo similar to its own leaping cat, Puma said on Thursday.
German born Plein started out in furniture design in the late 1990s and eventually switched to fashion, earning the name "King of Bling" in the media for his eccentric designs. Celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan and Fergie have featured in his advertising campaigns.
"At the end of 2017, we found out that he had started the new Plein-Sport line in which he reproduced this particular cat on t-shirts, hoodies, shoes and so on," Puma's head of intellectual property, Neil Narriman, said.
Some of Plein's clothes on the website feature a tiger's head while others are adorned with a leaping tiger. Narriman said there are also other design features similar to Puma's.
The temporary injunction from a regional court in Duesseldorf prevents Plein's online store selling in Germany where Puma is based, Narriman said.
Plein's company, based in Lugano, Switzerland, was not immediately available for comment on Thursday.
But in a posting on social media platform Instagram on Thursday, Plein announced a campaign offering customers a discount on Plein-Sport branded products in exchange for their used Puma shoes, using the slogan: "Don't be a puma, be a tiger".
He also told German daily Bild: "I really cannot see any similarity between the jumping kitty cat of (Puma) and our Plein-Sport tiger. We have done nothing wrong."
The court in Duesseldorf said it could not confirm it had issued an injunction because such information was generally not made public.
Puma's Narriman said the company had also obtained a court order against Plein similar to an injunction in the Netherlands and was prepared to take legal measures in other countries as well if necessary.
"But our whole purpose is not to fight for the sake of it... We want to find a resolution to this matter and not escalate," Narriman said.
So far, he said Puma had not received any direct response from Plein. The next step is for the court in Duesseldorf to schedule a hearing after giving Plein a chance to respond to Puma's allegations.
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)