Judging a Book by Its Cover

Is Kate Spade clutching at Olympia Le-Tan's idea of creating handbags that look like vintage books?  Ms. Le-Tan thinks so -- and called the company formerly owned by Kate "a big fat copy cat" on Twitter. 

Olympia Le-Tan's clever clutches, including titles like Moby Dick, were introduced last fall, and examples of Kate Spade's trompe-l'oeil library were displayed to editors during New York Fashion Week in February.  While even a lawyer of Olympian prowess would have to concede that no creative client can copyright her idea (as opposed to a specific expression of it), the potential for a trade dress or unfair competition argument could be interesting.

Olympia_LeTan_Kate_Spade_clutches.jpgMeanwhile, let's hope that both stylish students of literature have taken into account any lingering rights of the authors and original cover designers.  Otherwise, attorneys for the various parties may be tempted to use the "books" as clubs. 

Via Salon.

UPDATE:  Curious about the idea of the book as aesthetic signifier, without having to bother with all those darn words?  Check out this series of recent posts over at Murketing.