Louis Vuitton and Pharrell Williams Face Trademark Infringement Suit Over $565-Per-Pair ‘Pocket Socks’

pharrell williams
  • Save

pharrell williams
  • Save
A live performance from Pharrell Williams, who, along with Louis Vuitton, is facing a trademark infringement suit from Pocket Socks. Photo Credit: Shawn Ahmed

Louis Vuitton and Pharrell Williams can’t be “Happy” about the trademark infringement lawsuit they’re now facing over their $565-per-pair “pocket socks.”

Pocket Socks – the Carlsbad-headquartered company that sells the official namesake product, that is – just recently submitted the concise complaint to a California federal court. Founded in 2012 and taken into high gear with a “significant investment” in 2019, the plaintiff business bills itself as the creator of “the original sock with a pocket.”

Running with that description as well as the specific nature of its operations, Pocket Socks in 2012 secured a trademark (No. 4,200,363) for the brand name. And the following years saw the company apply for and receive a design patent (No. D965,284) along with several similar trademarks, one covering its “distinctive trade dress,” according to the legal text and the appropriate registrations.

Unsurprisingly, then, the proper-noun Pocket Socks entity was far from thrilled when Louis Vuitton, “in collaboration” with Pharrell Williams, allegedly began marketing and selling its own pocket socks at 2023’s Paris Fashion Week. (Williams started as Louis Vuitton’s men’s creative director back in February of 2023.)

In offering the allegedly infringing product, complete with the initially mentioned eye-watering $565 price tag, Louis Vuitton allegedly uses “the same font and size as” on the Pocket Socks registrations.

To eliminate all doubt about the item’s availability – at the time of this writing, the Louis Vuitton website said there could be a two-week delay in shipping the in-stock socks due to high demand – the plaintiff went ahead and made the purchase at a brick-and-mortar store in San Diego.

Bigger picture, the media coverage surrounding the allegedly infringing socks “irreparably injures Pocket Socks” proper, the suit maintains. Additionally, purported Louis Vuitton advertising involving the trademark allegedly “further irreparably injures Pocket Socks’ longstanding brand and trademark rights.”

Once again at the time of this writing, Williams, whose social media accounts feature all manner of posts about Louis Vuitton products, didn’t appear to have addressed the complaint on Instagram. On the other side of the confrontation, hardly shying away from the media spotlight, Pocket Socks, repped in the case by SML Avvocati, elaborated on the motivation behind the litigation with a formal release.

“It’s a real David and Goliath story,” said Pocket Socks CEO Evan Papel. “This massive luxury brand and their designer Pharrell Williams should know better and behave within the law. I feel like a small business owner representing others, standing strong as David in this classic David versus Goliath situation.”