Forever 21 Sues for Copyright Infringement

Forever 21- an American fashion retailer has filed a lawsuit against Bastiat USA Inc- trading as Brandy Melville for alleged copyright infringement.

Forever 21’s complaint in May 2015 stated that the company became aware that retailer Brandy Melville was “offering for sale and selling clothing items which embodied designs that wholly and completely copied Forever 21’s design which is protected by Forever 21’s federal copyright registration. The contentious item was named as Brandy Neville’s red printed Abigail dress which retails for $29.00. In November 2014, Forever 21 acquired a copyright registration for the design of a “visual material”- 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: “Without permission, Defendants intentionally and knowingly reproduced, copies, displayed, manufactured, derived, and distributed products embodying colourable imitations of Forever 21’s Design”. Forever 21 further note in the complaint that the company is being damaged because “it designs and sells innovative, fashionable clothing, clothing and accessories and accessories exclusively through its online website and its own Forever 21 retail outlets throughout the United States and multiple international locations. In addition the complaint alleges that “in 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 21’s copyrighted styles and designs”.

Forever 21 is seeking damages and an injunction against Melville from continuing to sell the contentious garments that encompass Forever 21’s copyright-protected prints.

Forever 21 have not yet responded to requests for comments.

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