LOS ANGELES, United States — Luxottica Group Spa , the maker of Ray-Ban sunglasses, has sued BCBG Max Azria Group LLC, accusing the fashion house of knowingly infringing its famous Wayfarer trademark.
The complaint, filed on Wednesday with the US District Court in Los Angeles, said BCBG Max Azria's unauthorised sale of infringing eyewear was intended to confuse consumers, hurting Milan-based Luxottica's reputation and goodwill.
"Defendant's acts complained of herein have caused Luxottica to suffer irreparable injury to its business," the complaint said.
Luxottica, the world's largest eyewear company, is seeking an injunction against infringements, triple and punitive damages, and other remedies.
Leigh Brill, a spokeswoman for BCBG Max Azria, on Thursday said the company had no comment. Lawyers for Luxottica did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Luxottica has pursued other litigation to stop lesser-known marketers from selling Ray-Ban knockoffs.
It also runs several eyewear chains, including LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Sunglass Hut and Target Optical.
Wayfarer sunglasses were designed in 1952. A U.S. trademark was registered two years later by Bausch & Lomb, whose Ray-Ban business was acquired by Luxottica in 1999.
The sunglasses' popularity has gone in cycles, reaching a peak during the 1980s. Tom Cruise wore them in the 1983 movie "Risky Business," and Don Henley referred to them in his 1984 song "The Boys of Summer."
BCBG Max Azria is run by Tunisian-born Max Azria. It is based in Vernon, California, about five miles (8 km) southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
The case is Luxottica Group SpA et al v. BCBG Max Azria Group LLC et al, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 16-04062.
By Jonathan Stempel; editors: Lisa Von Ahn and Andrew Hay.