Home decor chain Restoration Hardware, which recently filed plans for an initial public stock offering, is being sued for allegedly stealing designs for chairs and bar stools.
Emeco Industries, a furniture maker from Hanover, Pa., filed suit in federal court in San Francisco accusing Restoration Hardware of trademark infringement and "selling a series of cheap knockoffs" based on Emeco designs, according to the suit. Former co-chief executive Gary Friedman is also named in the suit.
Emeco specifically pointed to Restoration Hardware's "Naval Chair" line as a "blatant" knockoff of its own "Navy Chair" collection. As evidence, Emeco in its filing includes side-by-side photos of extremely similar chairs offered by both retailers.
One such chair -- composed of aluminum with a sculptured seat -- was originally commissioned by the U.S. Navy during World War II, according to the lawsuit. It retails for $450 at Emeco and $129 at Restoration Hardware.