Anyone who reads anything related to fashion, it’s legal issues or not, can likely imagine what a kind of legal team Forever 21 employs. The retail giant has defended their fair share of claims made against them for copyright infringement. To some they have become synonymous with the term “knock-off”. They have mastered the practice of taking styles off of the runway and have similar styles in their stores for only a fraction of the designer price. Most of their cases have settled. Some argue that fashion is a cycle and that imitation is the greatest form of flattery; and yet, others are fighting for greater protection of their creative designs.
It seems now that Forever 21′ s lawyers will have their turn on the other side of a lawsuit. They are threatening to take legal action against the creator of the blog WTForever21.com. They are claiming trademark infringement and defamation among other claims. Forever 21′s trademarked name is registered and is known by consumers as “trendy clothes at low prices”. The blog seems to question Forever 21′s quality and styles. Forever 21 does not want their trademark to be mistaken to have anything to do with the blog. The blog is not endorsed or supported by the retailer.
The current issue arose after Forever 21 sent the creator of the blog a cease and desist letter to discontinue using the registered trademark; this is a common practice in the fashion industry. Rachel Kane, the creator of the blog responded by adding a disclaimer to her site. This wasn’t enough for Forever 21; they would prefer to see the complete removal/termination of the blog. The popularity of fashion blogs is overwhelming. Many bloggers give readers an inside look to their styles and offer their opinions on all things fashion. The blogs according to their authors are outlets of their right to free speech.
The remaining question now is, “how far is too far for these fashion companies?” Most blogs give fashion companies “free publicity”, despite the fact that they are potentially infringing upon the intellectual property of the company.
Stay tuned to see how this will end and what the future of WTForever21 will be.