Longchamp's Expanding Legal Universe

Space: the final frontier.  For some women, it's that elusive extra foot of closet space.  For others, it's the half-inch between comfortably buttoned skinny jeans and a tortuously tight waistband.  And for still others, it's the tote bag that will hold everything from gym clothes to legal briefs while maintaining an elegant silhouette. 

Longchamp's foldable, expandable "Pliage" bag entered the space race over a decade and a half ago, and it has since become a must-have for the chic traveler who's done a bit of shopping along the way and needs to tote her loot home.  That success has apparently led to a few more knockoffs than Longchamp's lawyers would like.

Longchamp_trade_dress_ad_WWD_2-15-10.jpgThis Longchamp ad from today's WWD is further evidence that the trade dress trendlet Counterfeit Chic spotted some time ago is gathering momentum.  Sure, we've seen admonitory advertising about intellectual property before -- Chanel, Joseph Abboud, even Little Tree air fresheners -- but they've focused on trademarks, not trade dress.

All in all, a revealing use of (ad) space.

UPDATE:  According to the Longchamp website, the "Pliage" bag -- actually, one of a series of similar designs in the Longchamp "Pliage" line -- is also the subject of a U.S. design patent.