Monday, January 29, 2007

It's about the jeans

The world continues to get more and more confusing every day. On one hand, we've got the President of the United States continuing his cowboy diplomacy, by threatening a strong response to Iran if they continue any sort of military action towards Iraq, with the message seemingly being, "You aren't allowed to come over to our sandbox." One the other hand, we've got Barbaro, last year's favorite for the Triple Crown before a devastating leg injury, finally succumbing to the various injuries and ailments and being sent to the great pasture in the sky. All the while, underneath us (or slightly behind us, depending on whether you're sitting or standing), we've got a formerly powerful company seemingly suing every one of its competitors in an attempt to remain viable in the market.

That's right, folks. Levi Strauss is suing other jean manufacturers over potential trademark infringements related to the design on their back pockets. What design, you may ask? Why, the interlocking arches and the fashionable little tag saying "Levi's". It is those specific elements that the jeans company is trying, and succeeding, in suing it's competitors for, in an attempt to keep themselves afloat at $30/pair, while other jeans are being sold for upwards of $200/pair.

Levi's has, of course, won a few of these cases, or at least had them settled out of court, but the fact that the former world leader in denim has stooped to this has to bring to question whether or not the society itself is simply too litigious. Sure, you could point out the large numbers of frivolous or stupid lawsuits being collected all over the internet as proof, but do you really need more proof than the notion of Levi's suing over the design of its back pocket?

I mean, honestly, when you look at the back pockets of someone's jeans, are you really noticing the design? Or are you trying to discern what's underneath, or, in some instances, wishing that there was just a little more denim to cover what's already gone beyond the levels of good taste?

After all, for the majority of Americans, when they think of interlocking arches, they aren't thinking Levi's. They're thinking McDonald's.

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