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Next claims Tesco copied clothing line

TESCO, the supermarket famed for its aggressive price war tactics, was yesterday batting away allegations that it has illegally copied clothing ranges from fashion retailer Next.<br /><br />Next has filed claims with law courts alleging the supermarket has lifted up to five clothing lines &ndash; and stolen two design motifs originally designed by Next.<br /><br />Tesco denies all the charges and has in a counter attack claimed Next sent the supermarket &ldquo;unjustified&rdquo; threatening letters over the last year.<br /><br />A Tesco spokesperson told City A.M. : &ldquo;As a significant owner of intellectual property ourselves we take any claim of infringement extremely seriously, however, as this is an on-going legal matter we are unable to comment further.&rdquo;<br /><br />Next claims that Tesco&rsquo;s own brand line of Cherokee shoes were based on its own Trekker brand sandals. <br /><br />Next chief executive Simon Wolfson has been applauded for his savvy industry knowledge &ndash; the retailer&rsquo;s latest trading update came complete with twenty pages of his musings on the outlook &ndash; and this is the latest sign of him making his mark on the rest of Next&rsquo;s competitors. <br /><br />It is yet to be revealed how much in damages Next is seeking, but the case could be a major blot on Tesco&rsquo;s reputation. Next last year was defending its own copy right case when the Ministry of Defence launched a legal battle against the high street shopping chain for using the RAF&rsquo;s insignia on a &pound;35 duvet cover. <br /><br />And in a sign of the times Diageo, the global drinks powerhouse, recently sued supermarket J Sainsbury for copyright infringement of Pimms, its summer tipple.