ABERCROMBIE'S TROUBLES: Teen specialty chain Abercrombie & Fitch was named as defendant in a shareholder lawsuit filed in a federal court in Columbus, Ohio, seeking class-action status, alleging that the firm and certain executives provided misinformation about the company's financial statements. The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman filed the lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of A&F stock between May 17 and Aug. 3. Also named as defendants were Michael S. Jeffries, chairman and chief executive, and Robert S. Singer, president and chief operating officer. According to the law firm in a statement, the lawsuit also raised issues in connection with the timing of stock sales by Jeffries. The firm did not return a call for comment by press time.

NB COATS COMING: Watch out, North Face. New Balance has signed a deal with the Levy Group for women's and men's performance outerwear for fall 2006. The initial products will include shell and fleece looks designed for outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing. A collection of lifestyle offerings made of wool, cotton and goose down as well as parkas and rainwear are slated to roll out in spring 2007. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Levy has also put together a team to oversee this business: Todd Katz has joined the Levy Group as president of NB Outerwear; Shannon Hayward is vice president, and Anne Hamilton is design director.

CONWAY SUED: Rocawear Licensing LLC and Roc Apparel Group LLC filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Conway Stores Inc. alleging that Conway intentionally infringed on Rocawear trademarks in manufacturing, distributing and selling items that had similar marks on them without the company's permission. The allegations pertain to three registered trademarks for clothing and footwear: the Rocawear trademark, the Rocawear plus RW Design trademark and the R Stitch design mark. The allegations include trademark infringement, federal unfair competition, dilution and common law unfair competition and trademark infringement. Conway did not respond to calls for comment by press time. The lawsuit claimed Conway used allegedly infringing trademarks on products "with full knowledge of the fame and reputation of the Rocawear marks." The complaint asked that Conway be both preliminary and permanently enjoined from using Rocawear's trademarks or any similar marks. The lawsuit asked for unspecified treble and punitive damages.

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