California fashion brand Unicolors is suing UK retailer Boohoo for allegedly copying the design of a floral-patterned dress.
In the complaint, filed on Friday, January 15, at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, Unicolors said a dress sold on Boohoo’s website was “strikingly similar” to its own pattern.
The resemblance is so strong that “independent creation of the design appearing on the [Boohoo] product is impossible,” Unicolors claimed.
The pattern features shaded white flowers against a black background. “The arrangement of all of these elements mirror each other exactly. The number of petals and leaves on each floral motif is exactly the same. The orientation of the floral designs and the spacing and arrangement of the individual elements similarly match,” the complaint said.
Unicolors is seeking an order barring Boohoo from using the design, as well as statutory damages under the Copyright Act.
The California fashion brand is currently involved in another high-profile IP dispute which has reached the US Supreme Court.
This month, WIPR reported that Unicolor had asked the court to review a copyright dispute with Swedish brand H&M. If the Supreme Court decides to hear the case, it could have an impact on how many designs can be registered with the US Copyright Office in a single filing.
A California court originally ordered H&M to pay Unicolors $780,000 for infringing the US brand’s copyright, but this ruling was overturned by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The Ninth Circuit said Unicolors’ copyright registration was inaccurate because it covered 31 different, unrelated designs. Unicolors is arguing that the designs form a ‘single unit’, qualifying it for registration under US copyright law.