Forever 21 is copying more than just designer clothes, according to a lawsuit filed early last year by Adobe, Autodesk and Corel. The Los Angeles-based fast fashion giant, which maintains 700 stores and brings in roughly $4 billion in yearly revenue, “willfully, maliciously and intentionally” reproduced upwards of 60 copies of Photoshop and other programs, violating the companies’ copyrights, Adobe asserted in its lawsuit.
In response to the lawsuit, Forever 21 shot back at Adobe, saying the software company bullies customers who are accused of piracy into paying exorbitant license fees. The retailer further claimed that it has not infringed any of the software companies’ copyrights, and that they filed their lawsuit with "unclean hands," a legal term meaning that they acted in bad faith.
Well, as of last month, the parties managed to settle this ugly suit out of court. The four tech companies filed to voluntarily dismiss their case against Forever 21 last month, signifying that they were able to resolve their differences with notorious copycat, Forever 21, before the case went to trial. U.S. District Judge William Alsup subsequently signed off on the deal. Terms of the deal were not released, and attorneys for Adobe and Forever 21 refused to comment on the matter.
This lawsuit was particularly interesting given Forever 21's truly widespread practice of copying apparel and accessories. While few lawsuits with Forever 21 as a defendant have made it to court (because Forever 21 almost always settles out of court quickly and quietly), that does not mean that it is a stranger to being served. Over the past several years, the Los Angeles-based retailer has been sued by fashion brands Phillip Lim, Feral Childe, Trovata, Diane Von Furstenberg, Foley + Corinna, and Anna Sui, among others.