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Fashion retailer H&M sues Chinese rival Shein in Hong Kong for copyright infringement

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Fashion retailer H&M sues Chinese rival Shein in Hong Kong for copyright infringement

Chinese fast fashion retailer Shein is now facing yet another action for copyright infringement, this time filed in Hong Kong by Swedish retail giant H&M.

H&M accused Shein and Zoetop Business Co, the Hong Kong-based entity previously owned by Shein, of infringing its copyright-protected designs, including swimwear and sweaters.

According to Bloomberg, the lawsuit included details and imagery of a range of its items that pointed to "the striking resemblance between the products showing they must have been copied" and the "sheer scale of unauthorized substantial reproduction of the copyright works".

An H&M spokeswoman told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE "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."

The copyright infringement action was initially heard in Hong Kong court last September, and the judge permitted the case to proceed. A second hearing was held in the Hong Kong High Court on June 21, with the most recent calendar call being on July 31.

H&M is asking for unspecified monetary damages and an injunction to prevent Shein from further infringing on its intellectual property, according to Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, Shein has yet to comment on the lawsuit.

The company, which was founded in China in 2008, quickly established itself as a leader in the global fast-fashion industry by providing affordable collections that appeal to youthful, tech-savvy consumers.

This is not the first time Shein has faced rip-off allegations from big brands as well as from budding fashion designers.

PitchMark wrote about an American freelance artist who sued Shein for US$100 million in 2022, alleging the company copied her artwork without consent, and just last month, the company was accused of copyright infringement by the Mexican Government and separately by three US-based fashion designers.

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Mark Laudi

Mark Laudi

Press contact Managing Partner (+65) 6223 2249

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