The third lawsuit in as many weeks alleging intellectual property infringement was filed against Target Corp. last week by Los Angeles-based sportswear company Tokidoki.
The three-year-old company, which is under license with manufacturer Jerry Leigh and is known for its original, Japanese-style anime designs, is alleging in the suit filed in U.S. District Court, Central District of California, that Target sold a T-shirt bearing its patented logo, a heart juxtaposed with crossbones.
Target did not return calls seeking comment.
Ivan Arnold, co-owner of Tokidoki, said he and his two partners discovered the shirt because of e-mails sent by fans. Arnold said Tokidoki contacted Target with the complaint and was told on two occasions that the retailer's manufacturer indemnifies it from any potential trademark infringement.
"They told us we need to seek relief from the manufacturer in South Korea," Arnold said.
Lucky Brand Dungarees filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Target on Oct. 5 alleging that the retailer misappropriated the back-pocket design on a line of jeans. On Sept. 29, Coach filed a trademark infringement lawsuit charging that Target was selling a knock-off Coach bag in a Florida store.
Earlier this year, Tokidoki settled out of court with Levi Strauss & Co. over a sweater the retailer was selling bearing a heart-and-crossbones design.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"