RevoLaze, an Ohio-based laser technology firm announced Monday that is has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) for patent infringement against 17 leading denim brands, which it claims used its laser abrasion technology and the firm is seeking a ban on imports incorporating the technique.
The denim retailers and brands named in the complaint include Levi Strauss & Co., Lucky Brand Dungarees, Inc., AG Jeans, Gap, H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters and DL1961 Premium Denim Inc, among others. But RevoLaze’s complaint also includes a request for a general exclusion order to prevent all jean companies from using its patented technology, not just the brands and retailers mentioned.
RevoLaze claims to have 29 worldwide patents on laser inscribing methods, and a significant portion of its intellectual property discloses the use of the laser inscribing technology for fabrics like denim.
The laser abrasion technology replaces the sandblast process used to create the worn look of distressed denim, and RevoLaze says companies aren’t using the patented technology legally.
RevoLaze CEO Darryl Costin, PhD., said, “We rely upon our numerous granted utility patents to protect our technology and to safeguard its competitive position,” adding that, “Basically there are companies out there who looked at our technology in the past, and are now selling jeans manufactured with the laser abrasion processes. We’re asking the ITC to provide us protection.”
If the ITC agrees that imports have violated RevoLaze’s patents, an exclusion order will be issued to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ban the incoming goods, excluding those products from the United States.
Once a complaint is filed with the ICT, the commission has 30 days to decide whether it warrants an investigation, and investigations are typically completed in roughly 15 months. RevoLaze also filed 17 patent infringement lawsuits against the companies named in Cleveland U.S. District Court last Friday.