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Within the Ray-Ban family of sunglasses, can you draw to mind any styles other than the Wayfarer? It's not easy to do so. Originally released in the ’50s and made iconic by fans like James Dean and JFK, the model is basically synonymous with the brand.
That’s why Luxottica, the eyewear giant that owns Ray-Ban, is suing BCBG Max Azria over infringing on its Wayfarer trademark by using the name on its own products. The suit, filed Wednesday, claims that BCBG aimed to “deceive the public into believing that [its] eyewear products are associated with, sponsored by, originated from, or are approved by Luxottica” and to cash in on its reputation among consumers. That, in turn, could hurt Ray-Ban’s image and sales.
If you’ve ever had a frat bro try to sell you a pair of cheap, neon yellow Wayfarer knockoffs with a dumb party slogan printed across the arms, it won't come as any surprise that Luxottica has spent quite a lot of time defending Ray-Bans from counterfeiters in the past. Last summer, the company filed at least 10 lawsuits to that end.