Legally Yours Update: Jury Deadlocked in Forever 21 vs. Trovata Case

May 27, 2009 • Fashion

Forever_21_Online_Store-resized200 Trovata

After reporting yesterday that the closing arguments were made in the U.S. District Court case between retail mega-chain Forever 21 and Newport Beach-based line Trovata, it was announced yesterday that the jury is stuck in a stalemate.

The jury has been deliberating since last Friday but WWD reports that sitting judge Judge James V. Selna received a note from the panel on Tuesday that expressed concern for one of the jurors. The note apparently stated that a particular juror had been incorrectly applying the law, and that there was also a slight perception of misconduct. Judge Selna seemed to express concern for the dynamic of the panel by stating, “It’s dangerous business starting to look for misconduct.”

The jury on the case consists of six men and two women and will resume deliberations today in the hopes that they can resolve any conflicts and therefore avoid a potential mistrial. Judge Selna also commented that the panel had asked for legal clarification on several of the issues that arose within the trial.

The lawsuit, which began the first week of May, is based on whether or not the retail giant Forever 21 was aware of the extreme similarities between the pieces it was advertising on the runway and in magazines, and the ones in the Trovata's line. The trendy, uber-cheap shop has claimed that though there were some similar aspects of the disputed items-including cardigans, hoodies, shirts, and a jacket from fall 2005 to early 2006-no laws of infringement had been broken.

The potential outcome of the trial may include clarification of intellectual property rights. These rights and legislations are becoming more relevant in a time when designer knockoffs are everywhere, and establishing them further may prevent future infringement suits.

This Just In!

A mistrial was declared around 1 p.m. ET in the Forever 21 vs. Trovata case. U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna dismissed the jury after jurors were unable to reach a verdict because of
irreconcilable differences. The outcome over this infringement and copyrighting suit is still yet to be determined. Stay tuned!

Article Source: WWD

Logo Source: flickr 

-Alia Rajput

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