(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Chico’s FAS, the firm that owns the Soma lingerie brand and stores, asked a U.S. district court in Florida in mid-November, for a declaratory judgment dismissing claims of patent infringement by Wink Intimates, a Canadian firm. Chico’s also asked the court to prohibit “defendants from making further claims of litigation against Chico’s for patent infringement” and to award “Chico’s its attorneys’ fees and costs.”
The suit centers on Soma’s “Oh My Gorgeous Cami Bras” and Wink’s “Combination Brassiere and Tank Top,” the latter invented and patented by Andrea T. Clair of Toronto, and Anastasios Koskinas, both of whom are also named in the court documents. In September 2013, an attorney for Wink sent a letter to attorneys for Chico’s stating that “it is clear that this bra infringes on one or more claims” of three Wink patents, and asked if Chico’s was “interested in discussing a license in order to continue selling your products which infringe on these patents.”
According to the documents filed on behalf of Soma, “Wink heavily promotes the “9to5 Bra,” sold under the Patents-in-Suit, that have been assigned and/or licensed by Defendants Clair and Koskinas, throughout the United States,” adding that “the “9to5 Bra” has been “featured in” various U.S. publications and news outlets, such as MSNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo, the Houston Chronicle and others. Similarly, Defendant Wink’s website includes a scanned article from O The Oprah Magazine.”
The suit insisted that “Chico’s has not infringed, directly or indirectly, any valid claim of the Patents-in-Suit, and cannot therefore be liable for infringement,” adding that “No product made, used, sold or offered for sale by Chico’s infringes any valid claim of the Patents-in-Suit.”
As we went to press, calls seeking comment from Wink’s attorney had not been returned.
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