Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Can You Patent a Tank Top?

As detailed in this BuzzFeed piece, Lululemon has patented 31 items in its line of insidious business-casual yoga gear, and is currently taking Hanes/Champion/Target to task for a tank top: Hanes, asserting that the design patent shouldn't have been issued to begin with, is filing suit. Here's a snippet from Lululemon's cease-and-desist letter.


I know absolutely nothing about patents that I didn't learn from Shark Tank, and I am admittedly deeply biased against Lululemon on the grounds that their fearful-in-the-guise-of-flattering, show-off-your-collarbones-but-shield-that-tummy aesthetic is offensive to the objective truth that everything would be easier if we just let a woman live for one second—but to me it doesn't seem sensible in any way for the fashion industry to start filing design patents on fairly basic articles of clothing. [BuzzFeed]

4 Comments / Post A Comment


Wasn't the former CEO (aside from being a weirdo and a racist) one of those free-market Ayn-Rand-reading types? Gee, what could be more free market than trying to legally stop other people from making and selling things that you also make and sell?

Jia Tolentino

@I AM DIAPHENA dude he totally is exactly like that. A LIBERTARIAN PATENT ENTHUSIAST


IN LOVE Fantastic@t


I'm actually going to patent my own yoga outfits. I bet nobody else has ever thought of wearing to their yoga session a once-white-now-grey Gap tshirt with some slightly baggy-at-the-knee running leggings which got repurposed when I stopped running. They are very particular to me, being soggy with sweat and rather larger than the average yoga outfit. I am going to patent them right now and the sue the downward doggy arse off of anyone I see wearing anything similar next week.

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