Norrøna and Alfa clash in court – full clinch about shoes
Norrøna believes Alfa plagiarize their expressions and drags the shoemakers to court with claims for NOK 20 million. Alfa answers in turn.
Therefore, the two Norwegian producers make battle in the Oslo District Court, in the wake of Alfa’s re-launch of the Norwegian Norrøna collection.
Now the shoes are re-launched in contemporary signal colors, modern design and with the inscription ‘Norrøna’ across the outside of the shoes – Not unlike the visual expression Norrøna has profiled in recent years.
In this sense, Alfa seems to have the saving grace of audacity, and then some – had it not been for the fact that the traditional shoe manufacturer registered the trademark “Norröna” in 1908 – 21 years before the clothing manufacturer Norrøna Sport was conceived.
Demands 20 millions
The updated shoe collection has nevertheless enraged Norrøna as it resembles their products too much in expression. Therefore Norrøna requires NOK 20 million in compensation, and that the new Alfa shoes are banished in their current form.
– Alfa tries to stay as close as possible to the Norrøna Sports brand, thereby exploiting the result of the marketing effort Norrøna Sport has made for a number of years, they write in their petition to the court.
Now both players have sued one another and both lawsuits will be treated at the same trial. It starts in Oslo district court on Wednesday and lasts for three days.
Alfa has an agreement
But Alfa has yet another ace up its sleeve: a written agreement with Norrøna from 1996. In the agreement Norrøna state: “undertakes never to contest Alfa’s right to use the trade mark ‘Norrøna’ on shoes, boots, slippers, skis, poles or ski bindings”, to name but a few.
– The wording of the agreement has no geographic delimitation, and has no limitation in time. The use of the word “never” in the agreement implies on the contrary that declaration shall be valid indefinitely, according to the pleadings.
Norrøna contest Alfa’s perception that the agreement involves perpetual right to use ‘Norrøna’ in the whole world.
Alfa also demands money from the adversary, but unlike Norrøna, confines themselves to “an amount metered out at the court’s discretion.”
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today