A while a go, a couple of Japanese brands were sued by Levi's. At the time it wasn't clear how it would affect the market - would the brands in question go bankrupt, would others have to change their designs etc.
We know now that it wasn't as big of a deal as it might have seen at first.
The only brands directly affected by the lawsuit are Ironheart, Sugarcane, The Flat Head and Australian Imperial.
Sugarcane just removed the infringing details, while Ironheart and The Flat Head chose to come up with new designs.
This was Ironheart's first new version:
and this is the second and final(?):
I think it will be possibly to get them with blank backpockets, but it's also very easy to just take a seam ripper to them if you don't like the new arcuate.
The same, thick leather patch, but only with one motorcycle this time.
Personally I'm kind of indifferent to the new Ironhearts, don't really like or dislike them, but they're way better than the new Flat Heads.. I hope these are just early prototypes.
The arcuate is horrible in my opinion and I just don't understand why they changed the shape of the backpockets as well? Horrible x 2.
They've also made a version with backpockets of the regular shape too, though, that's probably what will be sold in the US and Europe. I'm hoping this is just a(very limited!! :) special version, time will tell.
The other brands remain the same though. In my opinion this lawsuit was way hyped. Apparently Levi's has sued over a 100 different brands since the 1990's, or something along those lines, I don't remember year and number exactly right now. They first time they sued over trademark infringement was in the 1930's.
You can tell that most Japanese brands still remain 'at large' by just looking at this picture;
It's Fullcount's yearly limited edition World War II-model.
You can expect the jeans sold outside of Japan to come without the arcuates and red tab though. Some brands will just remove these details from their Japanese product, while others like Samurai and Skull will come up with export models. But, again, things will remain the same in Japan.
And to end this post; the window display at Self Edge. The doll is bleeding red tabs..
Pictures from 3sixteen.com