American Apparel Inc., a clothing maker known for its racy advertising and clothes made in downtown Los Angeles, was accused in a lawsuit of copying Hanesbrands Inc.'s Barely There trademark for women's underwear.
American Apparel infringes the trademark by using the slogan in its print and online advertisements for tight-fitting bodysuits, according to the complaint filed Tuesday in federal court in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The website for American Apparel "contains images of young-looking, waif-like models scantily clad in American Apparel's products, including the 'barely there' bodysuit," Hanesbrands said in the complaint.
American Apparel, founded in Los Angeles in 1997, sells glossy gold and silver "Barely There Bodysuits" on its website for $22.
Hanesbrands, based in Winston-Salem, owns the Hanes, Champion and Playtex brands. It launched the Barely There brand in 1995 and expanded the trademark to cover bodysuits in 2000, according to the complaint.
American Apparel spokeswoman Cynthia Semon said the company didn't have an immediate comment.