adidas velcro trainers Ivanka Trump must answer questions in shoe design lawsuit
Ivanka Trump must give a deposition in a lawsuit by an Italian shoemaker claiming her fashion label copied its designs, a federal judge has ruled. Aquazurra Italia filed the suit against Ivanka Trump and her company in June 2016. It claims the brand has produced cheaper knockoffs of Aquazurra’s “coveted” and highly publicized shoe designs.
At the heart of the lawsuit is Aquazurra’s “Wild Things” shoe. The company says the Ivanka Trump brand’s “Hettie” shoe too closely resembles the Aquazurra design.
Ivanka Trump’s lawyers have staunchly denied those allegations, according to court documents. They say the Aquazurra design lacks the “distinctiveness” it would need to be protected by intellectual property laws. Her lawyers have also said the lawsuit is a publicity stunt.
Related: Ivanka Trump company ended talks with Japanese firm over government ties
Ivanka Trump stepped down from her role at her namesake company shortly before her father was inaugurated in January.
She currently serves in an unpaid White House role as an adviser to President Trump.
Earlier this month,
Ivanka Trump’s lawyers argued that she should not be deposed because she “does not possess any unique information” about the design process for the shoes in question. District Judge Katherine Forrest, denied that request in a ruling Friday.
Related: Ivanka Trump’s firm seeks new trademarks in China, reviving ethical concerns
Ivanka Trump’s company declined to comment. Her lawyers did not immediately respond to CNNMoney’s request for comment.
The judge also wrote that “Ms. Trump’s public statements regarding active and comprehensive brand management lead to a reasonable inference that the shoe at issue would not have been released without her approval.”