Luxury Fashion House Sued for Copying the Car-Freshner’s Iconic Tree-Shaped Design

It’s not uncommon for the fashion and automotive worlds to cross paths; sometimes the collaboration produces something good: Old tyres are made into fashionable footwear.

Sometimes, though, it can be questionable.

The designers over at the super luxury fashion brand, Balenciaga, must be running out of ideas and getting desperate. They once designed a bag that looks suspiciously like the one you could get for a couple of dollars from IKEA. Last year, they passed off a car mat as a US$2,235 designer skirt:

And a clutch bag that looks like a side-view mirror:

This is NOT a Car Mat.


Now, they are making headlines again as they are being sued by Car-Freshner Corporation. The air freshener company claims that Balenciaga copied its famous Little Trees Air Freshener that hangs from many a car’s rearview mirror, and reproducing the pine tree outline in a series of leather keychains:

Ah, the fresh smell of overpriced leather. 

Not only is the shape undeniably similar, even the colours are:

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Car-Freshner has a trademark on their product since 1952; the company further argues that consumers would be confused over which is what. Er, a US$3 air freshener vs a US$275 keychain? We wouldn’t worry about mistaking one for the other.

Nonetheless, the case for trademark infringement looks pretty solid here and Car-Freshner is seeking to take profits from the sold keychains.

Hey, Balenciaga, how about this as an overall?

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