By  on September 12, 2007

Allegations of intellectual property violations continue to fuel litigation against Forever 21 Inc.

Anthropologie Inc. filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Forever 21 in Manhattan federal court on Sept. 6. Forever 21 could not be reached for comment.

According to legal documents made available Tuesday, Anthropologie filed a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices against Forever 21 over a number of items.

The complaint stated that "the infringing merchandise features patterns, fabrics and color schemes that are identical or virtually identical to the patterns, fabrics and color schemes featured in the copyrighted Anthropologie garments."

The lawsuit also alleged that Forever 21 attempted to "pass its products off" as Anthropologie's in what the company said was a calculated attempt to deceive customers.

Anthropologie requested that the court issue an injunction and award damages and trial costs.

Allegations that Forever 21's business model involves copying other designers have swirled around the company for some time. This is not the first lawsuit Anthropologie has filed against Forever 21. In March of 2006 it filed a lawsuit with U.O.D. Inc. against Forever 21 for copyright infringement in Manhattan federal court. The lawsuit was filed over an alleged infringement of a skirt design.

At least 18 other copyright or trademark infringement lawsuits have been filed against Forever 21 since Jan. 1, 2007. The list of defendants to date includes Diane von Furstenberg, Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Lovers brand, Anna Sui, Bebe and several fabric manufacturers. Harajuku Lovers filed its lawsuit in June. Von Furstenberg filed hers in March. Most recently, Carole Hochman Design Group filed a copyright infringement lawsuit on Aug. 20 in Manhattan federal court over alleged infringement of a fabric design.

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