La Moda Italiana has sued Versace USA and Gianni Versace in the New York federal court as a preemptive lawsuit in a long term trademark battle between the companies and the Versace 1969 label. Los Angeles-based La Moda Italiana became the licensee for all US marketing and distribution of Versace 1969. It is asking the court to tell Gianni Versace brand its use of Versace is legal and does not infringe on Versace’s well known trademarks.
The Gianni Versace brand has been using its registered Versace mark in fashion since 1978. Versace 1969 has no relation to Gianni Versace. It was started in 2001 by Alessandro Versace who is not related to Gianni or Donatella Versace. Instead, Versace 1969 is distributed by Italy-based In Moda.
The Gianni Versace brand has been making threats and harassment about the use of Versace mark that have interfered with La Moda Italiana's business. Allegedly retail partners including Bluefly.com have pulled Versace 1969 products to avoid being sued.
There already has been a trademark fight between these brands. Last June, Versace USA and Gianni Versace filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in federal court in California. It claimed consumers would be confused between the Versace mark. That case is still pending.