JW Reilly, a business run by Judith Reilly to sell her sterling silver products, sued Swiss shoemaker Bally, accusing Bally of infringing a design patent on a shoe buckle. The design, set forth in U.S. D667,212, appears to be a clip-on accessory, as opposed to a true buckle, that has a rectangular face and that clips over the front, toe portion of a shoe. JW Reilly sells buckles asserted to be embodiments of the design patent in which the buckle can be engraved with wording, initials or a design.
Ms. Reilly asserts that she approached the manager of Bally’s Copley Place store in 2013 to discuss hosting a fund-raising event to support the Boston One Fund, a charity to assist families of those killed or injured in the Marathon bombing. In connection with her proposal, she asserts that she provided a description and photograph of her buckles that specifically indicated that they were protected by the ‘212 patent. Bally’s declined to participate in the proposed fund-raiser.
Ms. Reilly indicates that she subsequently became aware that Bally was offering three shoe designs that included buckles that she believes to be infringements of her patent. She asserts that Bally copied her design. The case has been assigned to Judge Saris.