Balenciaga accused of copying the design of its pine tree keyrings
Balenciaga's holiday season looks like it might be dampened somewhat. Launched in its stores last week, the brand's new leather keyrings, which bear more than a passing resemblance to the iconic "Little Tree" air fresheners, have been called out by the pine tree-shaped car accessory's original creator, New York-based Car-Freshner Corporation.
According to TMZ, the "Little Tree" design has been patented since 1952, and the company is accusing Balenciaga of having used this designs without permission to create its calfskin keyring collection.
The Car-Freshner Corporation also claims that there is potential for consumers to confuse the two products, despite a notable difference in their prices: while a "Little Tree" will set you back a 2.50 euros, or a couple of pounds, Balenciaga are currently charging 195 euros or £175 for its keyrings. According to France's National Industrial Property Institute (INPI), if the court rules in favour of the Car-Freshner Corporation, the accusations are likely to lead to financial sanctions for Balenciaga.
The Paris-based fashion house has refused to comment on the matter until now, and the pine tree keyrings are still available for purchase in all of the brand's stores as well as on its e-commerce platform.
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