04/25/2011 04:55 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

J.Crew Sued By Tony Duquette, Inc. Over Leopard Print Sweater

J.Crew is being taken to court for trademark infringement by Tony Duquette, Inc., according to a release on PRNewswire. The clothing chain stands accused of taking the artist's preferred print and re-purposing it as the "Duquette Factory Leopard Print" sweater. From

Tony Duquette, Inc. alleges that J. Crew infringed the Duquette proprietary name and trademarks by producing and marketing a "J. Crew Duquette Factory Leopard Print" sweater. The lawsuit alleges that J. Crew knowingly and willfully used the Duquette trademark without permission or license in connection with a leopard print product because of Tony Duquette's unique association with leopard print in the company's designs and products. Tony Duquette, Inc. has an exclusive licensing arrangement with Jim Thomson, Inc. for a collection of woven and printed textiles including an authorized signature leopard print pattern and with Roubini, Inc. for carpets and tapestries in signature leopard print taken from the Duquette archives. Damages and injunctive relief are sought.

Women's Wear Daily elaborates:

In the Fifties, Duquette began creating and using leopard print designs for fabric, wallpaper, carpet, clothing and furniture. As a result, the print became a “signature theme” of his designs and “still remains such a defining and recurring element” in his history, according to the court papers submitted by TDI [the firm that owns Duquette's intellectual property rights].

On the one hand, J.Crew probably shouldn't have named this thing the "Duquette Factory Leopard Print" sweater. On the other hand, can something like leopard print really be trademarked? Does anyone have an authentic leopard we can ask?

(Possibly the cardigan in question, via Polyvore)