Ivana Trump sues Finnish designer over name

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ivana Trump, the first wife of real estate mogul Donald Trump, sued a Finnish fashion company on Thursday, accusing it of selling women’s clothing that incorporates her name without permission.

Businesswoman Ivana Trump enters the stage during the 17th Life Ball in Vienna May 16, 2009. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court, Ivana Trump said IVANAhelsinki Ky and designer Paola Ivana Suhonen are infringing her two U.S. trademarks for “Ivana.”

The trademarks were registered in 2002 and relate to jewelry, eyeglasses and accessories. Trump, 61, said she has sold goods, including clothing, bearing her name since 1990.

The lawsuit contends that the U.S. sale of IVANAhelsinki products is likely to confuse consumers or suggest a Trump endorsement, and damage her goodwill and reputation.

IVANAhelsinki products are being introduced in the United States at this week’s New York Fashion Week.

“If someone is by the runway and sees the name IVANAhelsinki with IVANA in capital letters, it is reasonably inferable that Ivana Trump endorses this line or is affiliated with the company,” said Gary Lyman, a partner at Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt LLC who represents Trump.

The lawsuit seeks to halt the sale of alleged infringing products, actual and punitive damages, and other remedies.

It is unclear how much Ivana Trump-branded merchandise is sold annually, but Lyman said the amount is substantial.

IVANAhelsinki spokeswoman Keri Ingvarsson said the defendants had yet to review the lawsuit.

The Finnish company was established in 1998, she said, and “our product, high-fashion clothing, is in no way marketed to the same audience as Ivana Trump’s products.”

Talks to resolve the dispute broke down on Tuesday.

“Down the road, if it is possible to reach some sort of settlement, we’re amenable,” Lyman said.

The case is Trump v. IVANAhelsinki Ky et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 10-07102.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn