Brooke Hollow Inc (trading as Gwyneth Shoes) filed a complaint against defendant Antebi Footwear Group, LLC, (the company that has partnered with Paris Hilton to design the Paris Hilton Footwear Line Collection) with claims of IP and design patent infringement. The complaint filed on 23 December 2009 claims (amongst other things) that Paris' cushioning heart in the footwear line collections copies the design patent held by Brooke Hollow Inc.
Fashionista has formed her own view from the above images, but according to Gene the test for patent infringement in the U.S. is to ask the jury ""to look at the design patent and then look at the allegedly infringing device. Upon comparing the two if an ordinary observer would believe the accused device copied the design patent then there is infringement". The case (if it ever reaches court) will also challenge whether the patent should have been issued in the first place.
At the launch of Hilton's footware range Paris is quoted as saying "I personally chose the styling, design, materials and colors for the line and also wanted to make sure it was super-comfortable! Each shoe has a heart-shaped comfort pad sewn in . . . so you can dance all night long!"
In the meantime Booke Hollow Inc have reportedly requested that the court orders the defendant to cease using the heart shaped shoe cushion and deliver all the shoes that use the cushion to them. Ouch! These could turn out to be Paris' most painful (and expensive) shoes yet….