WWD.com/beauty-industry-news/fashion-features/topshop-to-pay-chloe-in-dress-settlement-488843/

LONDON — Topshop has agreed to pay Chloé, the French fashion house owned by Compagnie Financière Richemont, more than 13,000 pounds, or $26,700, in an out-of-court settlement regarding a yellow overall dress.

This story first appeared in the July 27, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Chloé had alleged the yellow cotton dress sold by Topshop was “almost identical” to a dress from See by Chloé, the brand’s diffusion line.

While the Chloé dress cost about 185 pounds, or $380, the Topshop version retailed for 35 pounds, or $71.

Topshop also has agreed to destroy more than 1,000 dresses in question. On Thursday, a spokesman for Topshop confirmed the company had compensated Chloé, but declined further comment.

Rachael Parman, an intellectual property lawyer for Shoosmiths, the law firm that acted on behalf of Chloé, said the introduction of European design right legislation in 2002 meant designers now had automatic protection for their designs under European law.

“Design right protection applies for three years, which is a long time in fashion,” said Parman, adding that if a copy of a new design gave the same “overall impression” as an original one, the legislation protected the original designer.