Clothing rivals Superdry and Jack Wills embroiled in copyright legal battle

Fashion chain Superdry is suing their rival and one of their former employees, after alleging they breached copyright laws over the design of a black padded jacket from its winter range.

The employee in question is Greg Roberts, the former head of international business development at Superdry, who left to join Jack Wills last November and lead a move into wholesaling. Superdry claim he took confidential information and used it at Jack Wills.

The firm believes Jack Wills has used this information, which includes details on best-selling clothes, contracts, factories and special materials used, to try to freshen up its winter coats range.

Lawyers have identified a series of Jack Wills garments that they say bear a striking resemblance to Superdry designs.

In particular, they point to key similarities between its £114.99 Glacier Biker Jacket, with a furry hood, and Jack Wills’ fur-free £99 Cuffley Padded Jacket.

Superdry has also threatened to seek an injunction from the High Court to stop Jack Wills from releasing its winter coats.

Jack Wills responded to the allegations by arguing that Superdry clothes appeal to the ‘middle-aged’ and that their brands are at opposite ends of the spectrum to each other. They added that they consider themselves a British heritage brand and does not regard Superdry as a competitor.

A high court judged has given Superdry two weeks to submit its full case and denied its request for the case to be expedited.

The judge also ruled that Superdry should pay the £30,000 costs that Jack Wills are set to face.

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Maung Aye
Maung is a partner in our Corporate and Commercial department. He joined Mackrell Turner Garrett following corporate law positions in London and in a leading regional firm in Essex. Maung read European Legal Studies at Lancaster University and the Università degli Studi di Trento and is a fluent Italian speaker.