Gucci Sues Forever 21 for Copyright Infringement

Earlier this month, Italian luxury brand, Gucci, had filed multiple cease-and-desist letters to fast fashion brand, Forever 21. The letters covered copyright infringement on a number of Forever 21’s items, utilizing a knock-off of Gucci’s trademark “blue-red-blue” and “green-red-green” stripe designs.

Left: Gucci bomber, Right: Forever 21 bomber

According to a copy of the filing viewed and reported by Business of Fashion, “Gucci America brings these counter claims because Forever 21 has challenged its most valuable and widely known marks 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.”

In return, Forever 21 alleged, “Many clothing and accessory items adorned with decorative stripes colored blue-red-blue or green-red-green are sold by countless third parties… The colors red, blue, and green, and striped designs are among the most favorite, popular and widely used colors and design features on clothing.” After being hit with this letter in June, Gucci preceded to ask the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to dismiss the case. To be safe in the instance the court does not follow through with the dismissal, Gucci filed a counterclaim against the fast fashion brand for “willful trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition.”

One of the many allegedly infringing Forever 21 designs,

Initially, Gucci had contacted Forever 21 in December of 2016, threatening to file suit if the company did not remove and discontinue the said products of copyright. Some products believed to be copyrighted were namely, three bomber jackets, one sweater, and a choker necklace, all pertaining to Gucci’s signature striped motif. After asking the Federal Court of California to declare that its garments are not an intended copy of Gucci’s striped marks, Gucci now does not have a case for trademark infringement.

To put an end to it all, Forever 21’s final lawsuit calls for the Gucci trademark registrations (dated back to 1988) at issue to be voided and any pending applications for associated marks to be dismissed. It is now stated that “Gucci should not be allowed to claim that Gucci, alone, has a monopoly on all blue-red-blue and green-red-green striped clothing and accessory items.” As this is Forever 21’s claim, Gucci continues to fight for its long-lived signature designs and their commitment to their consumers.

Lianne Almeida

Fashion Content Writer

Fashion Marketing & Management Student