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Abercrombie's Suit Against Rival Dismissed

July 16, 1999|Bloomberg News

Abercrombie & Fitch Co.'s lawsuit accusing rival retailer American Eagle Outfitters Inc. of copying the look of its merchandise, marketing and catalog was dismissed by an Ohio judge. Reynoldsburg, Ohio-based Abercrombie filed the suit last year in U.S. District Court in Columbus claiming American Eagle committed an "intentional and systematic copying" of Abercrombie's images and business practices. Abercrombie had sought to recover American Eagle's profit as well as punitive damages. In granting American Eagle's motion for summary judgment, Judge John Holschuh said Abercrombie's advertising method is not protected. Allowing Abercrombie the exclusive rights to the way certain clothing is shown and advertised would be anti-competitive, Holschuh wrote in his decision. Abercrombie & Fitch said it was disappointed in the ruling and would appeal. American Eagle said the lawsuit was nothing more than an attempt to disrupt its business and hurt its image. Shares of Warrendale, Pa.-based American Eagle closed up 25 cents at $49.13 on Nasdaq, and Abercrombie shares rose 6 cents to close at $46 on the NYSE.

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