Spanx v. Yummie Tummie (a/k/a Sara Blakely v. Heather Thomson Schindler)

Yummie Tummie owns 7 design patents on its popular body shapewear. Yummie Tummie accused Spanx of patent infringement after seeing look-alike versions by the competitor. After receiving a cease and desist letter, Spanx filed a declaratory judgment action in federal court to have a court determine there was no infringement. The battle begins.

Here are pictures of the allegedly infringing Spanx products and some of the Yummie Tummie design patents at issue:




Design patents are increasingly being used in the fashion industry. The trend is likely to continue as the Apple and Samsung cases have reinvigorated this often overlooked area of intellectual property law. This case shows how a well-crafted design patent strategy can be used by a fashion designer to protect competitor knock-offs. This case is sure to be in headlines throughout 2013.