He may not be as fashionably litigious as the Hells Angels, but Virgin founder Richard Branson is suing a fledgling environmental clothing company anyway. The mogul believes the denim line I Am Not A Virgin cuts too close to the behemoth Virgin in terms of naming copyright.
To this we way, seriously? Not only is one name a sentence and the other a noun, the clothing label’s title is a cheeky nod to the materials it uses in its jeans and t-shirts — the company recycles plastic bottles, food packaging, and X-Ray film, blending it with new cotton to make its fabrics. Interestingly, I Am Not A Virgin successfully trademarked its name three years ago, but drew Branson’s attention only recently, on the eve of the label’s launch.
While we’re on board with the Hells Angels’ zealous protection of their name (and who would go up against them, anyway?) and, for instance, Gucci’s recent triumph over Guccio Gucci, the Virgin lawsuit seems specious to us — or a testament to the fashion industry’s current litigation-happy culture. After all, would you ever confuse a small eco-friendly clothing line with an international investment group that, technically, has a totally different name?