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 – 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 “unjustified” threatening letters over the last year.<br /><br />A Tesco spokesperson told City A.M. : “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.”<br /><br />Next claims that Tesco’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 – the retailer’s latest trading update came complete with twenty pages of his musings on the outlook – and this is the latest sign of him making his mark on the rest of Next’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’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’s insignia on a £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.