Shoosmiths forces M&S recall for Jimmy Choo-a-like

Shoosmiths has forced Marks & Spencer (M&S) to recall thousands of handbags following a copycat row with designer brand Jimmy Choo.

Led by intellectual property and information technology head Gary Assim, the firm argued that an M&S bag retailing for £9.50 was suspiciously similar to the Jimmy Choo ‘Cosmo Silk Satin Evening bag with jewel buckle’, which retails for an eye-watering £495.

M&S settled out of court with an undisclosed payment, and has removed the bag from stores.

The high-street giant has made no admission of liability, but in a statement agreed with Jimmy Choo, said:

“Jimmy Choo and Marks & Spencer have reached a confidential financial settlement, to the satisfaction of both parties, involving a design right dispute.

“The handbag has been removed from sale by Marks & Spencer with no admission of liability. Jimmy Choo confirmed that it vigorously protected its intellectual property rights in order to enable it to continue to create unique and exclusive designs.”

Jimmy Choo is owned by private equity house Lion Capital, the former European arm of Texas-based Hicks Muse.

The M&S case is the second IP victory for the brand in three months. In September, Assim and team forced high street retailer New Look to pay £80,000 in damages for copyright infringement, as well as to withdraw more than 1,000 shoes modelled on Choo designs.