Lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret is facing a $15 million lawsuit for allegedly misleading customers, according
to papers filed by Zephyr’s, a hosiery manufacturer that previously supplied Victoria’s secret.
Zephyr’s alleges that Victoria’s Secret is still using images produced by Zephyr’s on hosiery packaging, but the product inside is from another manufacturer and is of lesser quality. The legwear company claims that the lingerie retailer is misleading customers and is furthermore damaging Zephyr’s reputation in the industry, and Zephyr’s wants compensation to the tune of $15 million.
The lawsuit contends that Victoria’s Secret breached the terms of their contract by contacting Zephyr’s suppliers directly, and provided what could be called an unfair competitive advantage. Furthermore, the legal documents argue that the lingerie company indulged in ““false advertising in violation of federal and state consumer protection laws, including consumer fraud in California, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Ohio.”
Debra MacKinnon, Zephyr’s owner and president, also said that Victoria’s Secret refused a merchandise delivery worth $100,000 because she wouldn’t sign a master sourcing agreement which would have given Victoria’s Secret intellectual property rights and taken away Zephyr’s right to provide services to other clients. According to MacKinnon, if she had signed, it would have put her company out of business.
Joseph Gioconda, lawyer for Zephyr, stated to Above the Law, a legal website: “As the jury’s verdict in the Apple/Samsung decision reflects, designers’ rights must be protected, regardless of whether the infringer is a small, fly-by-night operation or a large corporation.”