Coach Inc. brought a patent infringement suit against Brown Shoe Co. Inc. last week, accusing the footwear firm of violating one of Coach’s handbag designs.

This story first appeared in the June 4, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on May 29, Coach accuses the retailer of selling what is “virtually an exact copy” of its Ergo Pleat handbag in the Naturalizer chain of stores.

Coach began selling the Ergo Pleat bag in 2007 and patented it in December 2008.

Coach is seeking an injunction, profits it would have made and any profits Brown Shoe made off the patent as well as other unspecified damages.

A spokesman for Brown Shoe said the company is aware of the suit “and believes it is without merit. We will defend ourselves vigorously.”

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