Coach Sues Target Over Handbag Designs

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Coach Inc. is suing low-price retailer Target Corp. over bags the luxury handbag maker says too closely resemble its own designs.

Coach wants Target to stop selling the bags and pay an undetermined amount in damages, injunctive relief and attorney fees, the New York-based company said in a complaint it filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

The bags in question resemble Coach's Ergo bags, launched in 2008 and marketed as ergonomically correct, and its Signature Patchwork bags, which have patches in different fabrics and also were introduced in 2008, Coach said.

Target began selling handbags this summer with "exact and/or confusingly similar reproductions of Coach's Ergo designs and Signature Patchwork designs," Coach claims.

Coach also sued Minneapolis-based Target in 2006 claiming the retailer was selling a copy of one of its handbags. The companies settled the case.

"We are currently looking into this situation and working with our vendor partner," said Jana O'Leary, a Target spokeswoman said in an e-mail response to a query from The Associated Press. "It always has been - and continues to be - Target's policy to respect the intellectual property rights of others."

With less than an hour remaining in trading Tuesday, Coach shares were up 64 cents at $32.89. The stock has traded between $11.41 and $33.80 over the past year.

Target shares Tuesday were up $1.10 at $48.03. The stock has traded between $25 and $49.20 over the past year.
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