Fashion magazine sues smaller rival for copyright infringement
CALIFORNIA — The international fashion magazine Elle threatened legal action in September for copyright infringement against Eternelle, a quarterly magazine published in the San Francisco Bay area, according to the Associated Press.
Valerie Foster began publishing Eternelle out of her home in Los Altos in January. The magazine has a circulation of 50,000 within eight counties of the San Francisco Bay area and caters to women over 40.
Frank Decolvenaere, attorney for Elle’s publisher, Hachette Filipacchi Presse, has threatened to take legal action against Foster on the grounds that people could think Eternelle is connected with or a spinoff from Elle.
Foster maintains that such consumer confusion is unlikely since Elle is geared toward a younger audience and features supermodels, while Eternelle caters to the mothers of Elle’s readers and features actual subscribers to the magazine on its cover.
“We have no final word yet on whether or not they plan to take action,” said Foster. “Our lawyer sent them a letter stating that we would change the colored ‘e’, making the title one color, and that we changed the motto from ‘the science of staying young and healthy’ to ‘the magazine celebrating women in mid-life.'”
Foster said changing the motto had nothing to do with avoiding a lawsuit.
“We did it for ourselves, so that people would know what our magazine is about.”