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Forever 21's Delicious, Cinnamon-Dusted Defense Against Trovata's Copying Charges

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Image via St Stev/Flickr

Forever 21 has been sued roughly fifty times for selling clothing that looks suspiciously like the work of other designers, but up until now, every one of those cases was settled out of court. On Tuesday, however, local label Trovata brought the mega-retailer to trial, and the resulting ruling could have far-reaching consequences for designer knock-offs.

So far, as the Cut pointed out, the case sounds like a battle of the metaphors. Trovata's lawyer compared his clients to composers: "The notes, the chords, the sharps and flats are all known; it is the way they are combined and arranged that make new music.” But Forever 21's lawyer seems to know the real way to the jury's heart. He countered:

Much like a recipe for something like apple cobbler, Trovata is saying they didn’t invent the apples or the cinnamon or the sugar, but they are claiming the right to the combination.
This is, of course, a time-honored legal maneuver known as "distracting the jury by mentioning dessert," and it definitely works, because all of a sudden we're much more interested in cobbler than justice.
· Trovata and Forever 21 Clash at Trial [WWD, subscription req'd]
· Trovata Takes Forever 21 to Court [Racked]
· Trovata Fights Forever 21 With Music, Forever 21 Fights Back With Apple Cobbler [The Cut]

FOREVER 21

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