Judge: Ivanka Trump Must Answer Questions In Shoe Design Lawsuit

Marsha Scott
Июня 26, 2017

Ivanka Trump must testify in a trademark infringement dispute involving one of the shoe designs of her namesake brand, a judge ruled on Friday.

The luxury shoe company Aquazzura Italia SRL sued the President's eldest daughter past year in Manhattan federal court - claiming her Hettie model sandal was a knockoff of the brand's best-selling $785 Wild Thing.

Trump must answer questions in a deposition that does not exceed more than two hours, "given Ms. Trump's competing professional obligations", the judge ordered.

In a statement filed to the court aimed to avoid submitting a deposition in the case, Trump said she played no part in designing the shoe. The Italian brand claims Ivanka's Hettie shoe is "virtually identical" to its Wild Thing shoe.

Aquzzurra said Ms Trump's "Hettie" shoe design is too close to that design to be a coincidence.

"My involvement was strictly limited to the final sign-off of each season's line after it was first reviewed and approved by the company's design team", she continued.

In a declaration filed last week, Trump described herself as the "assistant to the Republican president of the United States", and insisted that all design responsibility was left to the company's licensee, Marc Fisher, who's also getting sued.

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The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

In her three-page ruling, Judge Katherine Forrest said she agreed with Aquazurra's lawyers that Trump, a named defendant, is key to the lawsuit. Aquazzura's attorneys pointed to an interview in 2012, wherein Ivanka claimed she is deeply involved in the design of her shoes.

Forcing Ivanka Trump to be deposed "would be an unnecessary distraction and would interfere with her ability to perform her duties at the White House", they stated. It must be completed by October, the judge said.

Aquazzura, in its lawsuit, said its shoe designs had "skyrocketed to fame in the fashion world" since the company was formed in 2011, with its footwear "coveted by fashionistas and celebrities alike".

The Florence, Italy-based Aquazzura says almost every detail of its shoe was copied.

The Aquazzura "Wild Thing" shoe was ripped off by Ivanka's "Hettie" model, according to the lawsuit, and according to photos like the above one from Twitter users claiming that Ivanka will likely lose this lawsuit.

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