Gucci has filed a lawsuit against Forever 21 for allegedly knocking off its trademark stripe webbing designs. The complaint was made in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California on Tuesday. The contents of the filing include a motion to dismiss Forever 21’s earlier complaint against a threat of trademark litigation from Gucci and counterclaims of its own for trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition.
"Gucci America brings these counterclaims because Forever 21 has challenged its most valuable and widely known marks," according to a copy of the filing seen by Business of Fashion. "And further because Forever 21’s legal assault, like its business model, is built on undermining the very notion of trademark protection, which is of critical importance to Gucci America’s brand."
Total Retail’s Take: This isn’t the first time fast-fashion chain Forever 21 has been sued over its designs. Puma (owned by Gucci parent company Kering), Mara Hoffman and Adidas all filed copyright infringement lawsuits against Forever 21 this year. Previously, Anthropologie, Anna Sui and Diane Von Furstenberg all sued Forever 21 over trademark and copyright infringement. Fast-fashion chains such as Forever 21 make their profits by designing and quickly manufacturing in-style products that appeal to the masses — but are they doing so by stealing the designs of other fashion brands? If Gucci doesn’t win this case, designer brands may need to re-evaluate the use of trademark protection in court.