By  on June 12, 2009

Diane von Furstenberg agreed to an out-of-court settlement Thursday with designers who accused her studio of improper copying.

The head of Diane von Furstenberg Studio LP, who also is president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and supports the proposed federal Design Piracy Prohibition Act, will pay Jennifer Halchuk and Richard Lyle of Mercy of Canada an undisclosed sum. DVF also will stop using the copied jacket design.

In April, a columnist for the Canadian newspaper the National Post first noticed that a floral print jacket in Diane von Furstenberg Studio’s spring 2009 collection looked similar to one in Mercy’s spring 2008 line. The column pointed out that the CFDA president has advocated greater legal protection from knockoffs, and bloggers picked up on the case.

Von Furstenberg issued an apology almost immediately and promised to compensate Mercy.

“While this is an isolated incident for DVF, it is unfortunate that way too many others intentionally build businesses by stealing the work of other designers,” von Furstenberg said.

Mercy did not file a lawsuit, a spokeswoman for the Canadian firm said.

“I greatly appreciate DVF coming forward to resolve this issue in such a forthright manner and for acknowledging our ownership of the jacket design,” Halchuk said.

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