Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday's Rant: Target's Panty Raid

On Tuesdays I usually take the opportunity to rant about something I do NOT like about Target …because although I love them to death, they certainly ain’t perfect. Today's rant is about Target allegedly stealing someone else's design. And while this news story has a few holes in it, if Target did steal this woman's idea, they should be made to pay for it.

According to The Virginian-Pilot, April Spring - creator of the Foxers line of women's lingerie (worn by celebrities such as Beyonce and Jordin Sparks) - has sued Target with the claim that they stole her design for BoyShorts, a pair of women's briefs with a waistband like men's boxer shorts. In her lawsuit, Spring says the retailer infringed on her patent for BoyShorts, part of her Foxers brand.

Spring said she has spent about $250,000 to launch Foxers and has yet to earn money from it, while Target's chief executive takes home millions in salary and bonuses. "I gave up everything for three years," Spring said, "all of my money, my discretionary income, my savings."

Spring claims that 18 months ago, a man stopped by her office and identified himself as an independent representative looking to sell Foxers to Target. He told her the wife of Target's chief executive already loved the idea, Spring said. She said that during the three-hour meeting, the man asked Spring how she would design Foxers, priced $20 to $26 a pair, to sell for less in the mass market. She told him she could do a simpler BoyShorts with a plaid waistband in Foxers' most-popular colors - pink, navy blue and green. "And that's exactly what they did," she said of the $4.99 Target version. The man never got back to Spring. The next summer, Spring said, her sister and niece were shopping and found the Foxers-looking lingerie on Target's racks. The suit does not name the man, Spring said, because she could not prove his involvement.

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