H&M Sues Shein For Copyright Infringement – WWD

It’s a fast-fashion legal face off.

Chinese e-commerce giant Shein is being sued by Swedish retailer Hennes & Mauritz, better known as H&M, for copyright infringement in a case filed by its Hong Kong-based owners.

H&M confirmed the lawsuit in a statement to WWD. “It is correct that we have an ongoing copyright infringement lawsuit towards Shein filed in Hong Kong. We believe that Shein in multiple cases has infringed on our designs and have therefore filed this lawsuit. As it is still an ongoing case, we choose not to comment further,” a spokesperson said.

The suit takes aim at Shein parent company Zoetop Business Co., as well as Shein Group Ltd., as defendants. H&M Group filed for an injunction to stop Shein from infringing on its copyright and trademarked designs.

Shein’s garments were too close for comfort for H&M, which said the designs bore a “striking resemblance between the products, showing they must have been copied” in the filing.

The suit also cited the “sheer scale of (Shein’s) unauthorized substantial reproduction of the copyright works.” Shein releases up to 6,000 new styles per day.

A representative for Shein told WWD it doesn’t comment on pending litigation per company policy.

Shein, founded in China in 2008, has quickly dominated the global fast-fashion marketplace, with its extremely low prices and social media-based campaigns that target Gen Z on TikTok in particular.

News of the suit comes on the heels of a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against Shein on July 13 by three independent artists in California.

That lawsuit claims Shein produced, distributed and sold exact copies of their creative work, and says the “egregious” copyright infringement constitutes racketeering under the U.S. RICO act.

Privately held Shein, which is said to be eyeing an IPO in the U.S., does not disclose its financials, but is said to be targeting $60 billion in revenues by 2025.

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