By  on March 2, 2010

Coach Inc. and Target Corp. on Friday asked a judge for permission to add a unit of Li & Fung Ltd. as a defendant in their ongoing trademark dispute

In a joint motion filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, both the accessories firm and mass retailer requested that Rosetti Handbags and Accessories Ltd. be named as the defendant previously known only as “Doe 1” in the case.

Coach filed an infringement complaint against Target in October, alleging the discount chain had sold unauthorized copies of Coach’s Patchwork and Ergo handbag designs. At the time, the accessories maker listed up to 10 other unknown defendants it said were in part responsible for the infringement. The company said the names of those parties would be added as it discovered them.

LF USA, the U.S. subsidiary of Hong Kong-based sourcing giant Li & Fung, acquired Rosetti Handbags and Accessories in 2006 for $162 million.

Target filed a counterclaim against Coach in November. In court documents, the retailer asserted there is “nothing inherently distinctive” about the handbag designs in question and asked the court to find Coach’s trade dresses invalid.

A representative for Li & Fung couldn’t be reached for comment Monday. If approved, the joint motion would give Rosetti Handbags until March 22 to respond to the complaint in court.

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