Quiksilver Loses Latest Round Over Roxy Name

As reported by California Apparel News

After eight years of battling Quiksilver Inc. in federal court, a small Los Angeles manufacturer has won the right to resume making clothes under its Roxywear label. Kymsta Corp., a women’s clothing maker located close to downtown Los Angeles, recently received a ruling from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturning a 2-year-old U.S. District Court decision mandating Kymsta phase out its Roxywear line over an 18-month period.

The appeals-court decision on Dec. 30 is the latest chapter in a legal tussle launched by Quiksilver, which complained the Roxywear name was too close to its Roxy brand for teens and young women. Quiksilver, based in Huntington Beach, Calif., had 30 days to seek further review of the appeals-court decision, but it has not taken further legal action.

The legal saga between Kymsta and Quiksilver began long before the two went to court in 2002. Since the early 1990s, the companies and their brands had co-existed. Bob McKnight—chairman, chief executive and president of Quiksilver—noted that in the mid-1990s, the two even had showrooms next door to each other in New York.

But Roxywear at the time was almost like a private label, he said, with no hangtags and no marketing. Roxy was a surf-inspired line for young women that eventually branched out to encompass girls and infants. The two didn’t cross paths on store floors. But by the end of the 1990s, conflicts arose. Roxywear, which traditionally had been in stores’ contemporary departments, started infiltrating the juniors department, such as the Brass Plum division at Nordstrom, Quiksilver said in court documents.

Quiksilver said it went to court after experiencing confusion at a 2002 trade show and receiving mistaken returns of Roxywear apparel from retailers.