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Dutch-owned retail chain Hema must pay €4.4 million to Levi Strauss

Brussels Commercial Court ordered Hema to pay €4.4 million to Levi Strauss for using stitching that was too similar to the international denim giant’s famous V shape.

Levi’s back-pocket stitching has been a registered trademark since 1981. The company had originally filed a damage claim for €50 for each pair of jeans Hema sold. That would have amounted to more than €12 million.

The court settled on €20 per pair, for a total of €4.4 million. Hema has sold 221,603 pairs of the jeans across the Benelux.

The Dutch-owned retail chain of household products and clothing operates nearly 100 outlets in Belgium. In 2003 there was a similar case benween Hema and Levi Strauss. It was settled out of court, and Hema signed an agreement to never again duplicate the stitching.


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