Designer Von Furstenberg sues Target over dress

NEW YORK Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:24pm EST

Models present creations from the Diane Von Furstenberg Spring 2008 collection during New York Fashion Week September 9, 2007. A top fashion designer sued Target Corp on Thursday for copyright infringement and other claims, saying the discount store is selling dresses with a print that is nearly identical to its ''spotted frog design.'' REUTERS/Keith Bedford

Models present creations from the Diane Von Furstenberg Spring 2008 collection during New York Fashion Week September 9, 2007. A top fashion designer sued Target Corp on Thursday for copyright infringement and other claims, saying the discount store is selling dresses with a print that is nearly identical to its ''spotted frog design.''

Credit: Reuters/Keith Bedford

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A top fashion designer sued Target Corp on Thursday for copyright infringement and other claims, saying the discount store is selling dresses with a print that is nearly identical to its "spotted frog design."

Diane Von Furstenberg Studio LP, named after its founder, said Target was selling a "Merona Animal Print Wrap Dress" that infringed on its copyright, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

"Defendants' infringing dresses are 'wrap' dresses made of materials designed to look like silk jersey, a style consumers and the general public have come to associate with DVF," the complaint said.

Target stopped selling the dresses on its Web site on January 23 after the designer sent it a notice about it, according to the complaint, but the dresses are still available in Target stores.

Target declined to provide immediate comment.

Von Furstenberg, who let loose a fashion tidal wave with her "Wrap Dress" in 1972 -- one design suitable for women of all ages and sizes -- has clothed such celebrities as actress Julia Roberts.

Her company sells clothes and other products on its Web site and at upscale retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Inc's Saks Fifth Avenue.

It said it used the spotted frog design on dresses, luggage, handbags, swimwear and other products.

(Reporting by Paritosh Bansal, editing by Richard Chang)

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