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Sur La Table Sues Burberry for Noninfringement Over Apron Design

The Children’s Pink Plaid and Poodle Apron
sold at (at least until recently) at Sur La Table

On May 21, Seattle-based kitchen store Sur La Table, Inc., filed suit in the Western District against Burberry Limited (U.S.) and Burberry Limited (U.K.). The suit seeks a declaration that the “Children’s Pink Plaid and Poodle Apron” available at Sur La Table (depicted above) does not infringe Burberry’s registered design marks (including the one depicted left).

The suit strikes at Burberry’s familiar check design. The complaint alleges that Burberry’s design is not inherently distinctive; it has not acquired secondary meaning; and it is generic. It also alleges that the pattern as used on the subject apron is merely decorative.

“The generic lattice pattern is functional; it is a decorative geometric pattern present on may products, from plaid fabric to waffle-cut french fries,” the complaint says.

The complaint states the suit is in response to demands that Burberry made to Sur La Table in an April 15 letter.

Though the complaint states that Sur La Table sells the subject apron, it appears to have been removed from the company’s Web site.

Burberry has not yet responded to the complaint.

The case cite is Sur La Table, Inc. v. Burberry Limited (U.S.), No. 10-00850 (W.D. Wash.).

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