Forever 21- an American fashion retailer has filed a lawsuit against Bastiat USA Inc- trading as Brandy Melville for alleged copyright infringement.
Forever 21Âs complaint in May 2015 stated that the company became aware that retailer Brandy Melville was Âoffering for sale and selling clothing items which embodied designs that wholly and completely copied Forever 21Âs design which is protected by Forever 21Âs federal copyright registration. The contentious item was named as Brandy NevilleÂs red printed Abigail dress which retails for $29.00. In November 2014, Forever 21 acquired a copyright registration for the design of a Âvisual materialÂ- this gives the retailer the exclusive right to use the copyrighted design, namely a red based medallion print.
In the United States, under current legislation original prints or graphics on clothes can be copyrighted as they are considered artwork.
The complaint which has been filed at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, a federal court in Los Angeles states: ÂWithout permission, Defendants intentionally and knowingly reproduced, copies, displayed, manufactured, derived, and distributed products embodying colourable imitations of Forever 21Âs DesignÂ. Forever 21 further note in the complaint that the company is being damaged because Âit designs and sells innovative, fashionable clothing, clothing and accessories and accessories exclusively through its online website www.Forever21.com and its own Forever 21 retail outlets throughout the United States and multiple international locations. In addition the complaint alleges that Âin light of the success of its clothing, as well as the reputation it has gained, Forever 21 and its products have become targets for unscrupulous individuals and entities who wish to unlawfully imitate Forever 21Âs copyrighted styles and designsÂ.
Forever 21 is seeking damages and an injunction against Melville from continuing to sell the contentious garments that encompass Forever 21Âs copyright-protected prints.
Forever 21 have not yet responded to requests for comments.