Forever 21 Files Lawsuit against Korean Retailers

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Forever 21, the largest apparel chain owned by Korean-Americans, recently filed a copyright infringement suit, accusing other Korean businesses of copying its products.

The suit was filed on Jan. 23 at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California against Papaya Clothing (Cornerstone Apparel) and TCEC (C Luce), both of which have allegedly copied Forever 21’s pattern designs.

Forever 21 claims that Papaya Clothing and TCEC have copied the design of its signature harem pants. Forever 21 copyrighted the pattern back in 2013 and it is arguing that the likes of Papaya Clothing knowingly copied its design to manufacture, distribute and sell their own products.

The suit also added that Forever 21 is due to suffer reduction in revenue as well as tainting its image if other brands do not stop copying their properties. Moreover, Forever 21 has requested Papaya Clothing and TCEC to stop sale of the alleged counterfeits immediately and giving up financial benefits they have gained from selling those products.

However, those within the apparel industry say that Forever 21’s recent suit was unexpected. Until recently, Forever 21 has often been on the receiving end of copyright infringement suits.

Over the last seven to eight years, Forever 21 has been sued at least 50 times over copyright infringements. Concerned about tainting its image, Forever 21 has invested considerably into developing its own designs as well as protecting its own properties.

Forever 21 and Papaya Clothing have been contacted about the recent lawsuit, but the Korea Daily was not able to reach them.

By Moon Ho Kim