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Helly Hansen sues Off-White for trademark infringement

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

Jul 18, 2018


Norwegian sportswear company Helly Hansen has launched a suit against Virgil Abloh's Off-White for copyright infringement of its striped logo. The Oslo-based company alleges Off-White is intentionally infringing the contrast diagonal stripe mark that Helly Hansen began using in the U.S. more than 40 years ago, reports The Fashion Law.

Off-White “has adopted a logo that is confusingly similar to Helly Hansen’s HH Stripe Logo,” and is using that logo on goods that are “the same and/or similar to the goods/services offered by Helly Hansen under its HH Stripe Logo,” The Fashion Law stated. Placement of the logo on Off-White products are in similar locations to those of Helly Hansen, “on the shoulder and sleeve of shirts and on the outer seam of the pants.”

Helly Hansen filed the suit in the federal court in Illinois where it is is seeking monetary damages for trademark infringement, unfair competition, and a violation of Illinois’ Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, according to Highsnobiety.

Why now?

Off-White have been trading for some time and using the logo since 2013 when the company was founded in Milan. The question is why Helly Hansen has waited so many years to file a suit for copyright infringement.

While the fashion industry is notorious for ‘borrowing’ and ‘being inspired’ by other brands, it is easy to spot the references designers use to inspire their collections. In the age of social media, Instagram is quick to bring any similarities to light, such as the notorious Diet Prada account which outs designer replicas and copycat “homages.”

Last month Diet Prada revealed the near similar crossed arrows logo used by Off-White is identical to the logo of Glasgow airport. The symbol was created by Margaret Calvert of Kinneir, Calvert & Associates in 1965 as part of a rebrand of Glasgow Airport.

Mystery of the @off____white logo solved! Likely swiped from a 1965 design for Glasgow Airport by Kinnear, Calvert & Associates, the UK design group is credited for creating the model for modern road signage throughout the world. So yeah...literal street appropriation if you will lol. Swipe through for some SERIOUS receipts (and yet another @rafsimons homage). Gotta love @taschen when creativity runs dry at the studio lol. • #offwhite #virgilabloh #menswear #streetwear #logo #modernism #taschen #glasgow #glasgowairport #airport #kinneircalvertassociates #jockkinneir #margaretcalvert #hypebeast #hypebae #louisvuitton #graphicdesign #communicationdesign #highsnobiety #snobshots #wiwt #ootd #mysterysolved #streetstyle #logomania #virgilabloh #dietprada

A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada) on

Whereas Off-White features the logo liberally on its t-shirts and sweats, Glasgow Airport features it on a roundabout sign approaching the airport as well as on airport vehicles, forklift trucks and flight ladders.

Helly Hansen