Legally Yours. Forever 21 Sued By Express In Another Copying Riff

June 29, 2009 • Fashion

Express claims this men's wear jacket design was copied by Forever 21

It seems good old Forever 21 still hasn't quite got a handle on acknowledging copyrighting laws. With a history of being sued 50 times in the past seven years for alleged intellectual property violations, the last of the charges with California clothing label Trovata still unresolved, Forever 21 seems to be out to set a new record for retailers stupidly winding up in court. The latest charges, filed, by retail chain Express, is no exception. The men's and women's wear company filed a trade dress infringement suit last week, claiming the mass retailer copied the overall look of a men's wear zippered jacket that was introduced last winter. In addition to that, Express also filed separate copyrighting suits over four of its copyrighted plaid patterns for men’s shorts that were in its stores in December 2007.

Forever 21 owners Jin Sook Chang and Do Won Chang were named as
co-defendants in the Express case, which has yet to receive an official court date. When Jin Sook Chang took to the
witness stand last month in the Trovata trial, she said the company had
to trust the vendors and manufacturers, which supply it with thousands
of designs.“Sometimes we purchase an item and then we request the vendor to change
the design to make them attractive,” Chang said. “When the fabric is
good, then we ask them to find that particular fabric for us.”

This seems to be where the problems arise. In the multiple cases filed against Forever 21, the chain has almost always settled out of court. The Trovata case ended in a hung jury last month over an apparent holdout juror that sided with Forever 21. A new trial date has been set for that case for the fall. Perhaps while the company now waits for yet another court date to be released, they should work on repairing other parts of the brand. The training company, for example, that Chang claims has been rigorously schooling members of the Forever 21 buying team on items that might present legal issues, should probably be fired right away.

Article and Photo Source: WWD

-Alia Rajput

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