SOURCE American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
For the Third Time in Four Years AE Prevails in Court Against A&F
WARRENDALE, Pa., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --
American Eagle Outfitters (Nasdaq: AEOS) announced today that for the third
time in four years it once again prevailed in court against Abercrombie &
Fitch. On February 15, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the
decision by the lower court to dismiss the case filed by Abercrombie in
The Appeals Court confirmed that Abercrombie's claims were wrong as a
matter of law. The opinion stated that: "The clothing designs A&F seeks a
monopoly on are functional as a matter of law, and therefore not protectable
as trade dress." The court also emphasized there is no similarity in catalogs
noting, American Eagle Outfitters' "photographs, in contrast, present a
decidedly wholesome image, with people of various ages in non-suggestive,
often family-oriented situations; nudity is absent."
Roger Markfield, President and Chief Merchandising Officer, stated: "We
have said from day one that this suit was frivolous and an unfortunate waste
of our time and our stockholder's money. Certain basic, classic American
themes of dress are out there in the mainstream, and the courts have again
said no single company can own them exclusively. Our design and merchandising
teams have consistently found new ways to work those classic themes, creating
a unique output that is the product line of American Eagle Outfitters. A
company attitude that stresses constant exploration and reinvention of those
themes explains our continued success in the marketplace. At American Eagle
Outfitters we believe in fair competition and will continue to compete by
providing great fashion at great prices to our target customer."
Since the time this lawsuit was filed, American Eagle Outfitters' sales
have nearly tripled, reaching a record $1.372 billion for the fiscal year
ended February 2, 2002.
Founded in 1977, American Eagle Outfitters designs, markets, and sells the
American Eagle brand of relaxed, clean, and versatile clothing for 16 to 34
year-olds, providing high-quality merchandise at affordable prices. AE's
lifestyle collection offers casual basics like cargos complemented by fashion
looks in stretch, denim, and other modern fabrications. American Eagle
Outfitters also operates the Bluenotes/Thriftys specialty apparel chain in
Canada. Bluenotes/Thriftys offers an urban inspired, denim-driven collection
for 12 to 22 year-olds. The Company currently operates 632 American Eagle
Outfitters stores in 47 states and the District of Columbia, 46 American Eagle
Outfitters stores in Canada, and 112 Bluenotes/Thriftys stores in Canada. AE
also operates via its Internet business, ae.com.
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