Ivanka Trump ordered to give deposition in shoe design lawsuit

Updated 2017-06-27 11:34:48 Xinhua

A U.S. federal judge has ordered Ivanka Trump to give a deposition in a lawsuit by an Italian shoemaker claiming her fashion line copied its designs.

Aquazzura Italia, an Italian shoe company, sued Ivanka Trump's brand and its footwear licensing partner Marc Fisher in June 2016. It claims the brand has produced cheaper knockoffs of Aquazurra's highly publicized shoe designs.

"Defendants have copied nearly every detail of Plaintiff's well-known and coveted Wild Thing Shoe, from the shape and silhouette to the fringe covering the toes, to the tassel on the heel," lawyers for Aquazzura wrote in the lawsuit.

Ivanka's lawyers denied the Hettie shoe produced by her company was a copy and said the Aquazurra product lacks the "distinctiveness" to be protected under intellectual property laws, according to court documents.

Earlier this month, her lawyers argued that Ivanka should be exempt because of her "special circumstances," and forcing her to be deposed "would be an unnecessary distraction and would interfere with her ability to perform her duties at the White House."

But the request was denied in a ruling on Friday by U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest.

Forrest wrote that Ivanka's deposition is necessary because she was a company executive during the time the shoes were made and had "high-level, authoritative, personal involvement" in the company.

According to the judge, Ivanka's deposition must be submitted before October 2017.

As U.S. President Donald Trump's elder daughter, Ivanka stepped down from her corporate position shortly before her father's inauguration in January.

She has been serving as an unpaid assistant to the president since March.

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