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Lilly Pulitzer sues Old Navy for copyright infringement

July 30, 2015, 8:06 PM UTC
Lily Pulitzer Team - 4/15/2015 - New York, New York - LILLY PULITZER for TARGET Launch Event held at Bryant Park Grill, NYC. Photo Credit: Neil Rasmus /BFAnyc *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***
Photograph by Neil Rasmus — BFAnyc/Sipa USA/AP

Lilly Pulitzer, known for its bright and unique fabric patterns, is suing Old Navy for copyright infringement, saying the Gap-owned unit blatantly stole two of the designer’s fabric prints.

While apparel designs are not covered by any intellectual property laws, one-of-a-kind prints and patterns do fall under that protection. Sugartown Worldwide, which owns the Lilly Pulitzer brand and its 33 retail stores, alleged that Old Navy knocked off two of its colorful prints, causing “irreparable harm” to the company.

The two patterns in question include the “High Tide Design,” a blue-green print featuring beach-goers lounging in the sun, and the “Sparks Fly Design,” featuring sailboats and fireworks against a dark blue or white background. Below are two images of the Old Navy and Lilly Pulitzer patterns in question.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 12.08.18 PM

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 12.08.49 PMSugartown claims the exclusive right to those two prints, which were the original creation of its design team. Many of which were “created as original works of art painted on canvas,” the complaint said.

Other people seem to have noticed the similarities, as well.

Sugartown is seeking an injunction that would stop Old Navy from selling the similar designs as well as damages for willful infringement.

The copyright infringement lawsuit against Old Navy isn’t the first. The retailer was previously sued over a patent-infringing sandal last fall, and in 2011, a lawsuit was brought against the company for running TV advertisements featuring a model that looked strikingly like Kim Kardashian.