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Emily Ratajkowski accused of stealing designs for new swimwear line

By Ray Downs
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Emily Ratajkowski accused of stealing designs for new swimwear line
Emily Ratajkowski arrives on the red carpet during the 70th annual Cannes International Film Festival on May 18. This week, a fashion designer is accusing Ratajkowski of stealing her swimwear designs. File Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Emily Ratajkowski is busy promoting her new swimwear line, but a fashion designer is accusing her of stealing the designs.

Lisa Marie Fernandez claims Ratajkowski's "Cardiff" swimsuit and "Vulcan" top are too similar to her "Poppy" and "Leandra" designs to be just a coincidence.

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"These are key silhouettes that represent the brand DNA that is Lisa Marie Fernandez and are immediately recognized by consumers as her original designs," Fernandez said in a statement, according to the New York Post.

The styles Fernandez says are copied came out three years ago and Ratajkowski's swimwear line was launched on Nov. 16.

But even if Ratajkowski did copy Fernandez's designs, it's not clear Fernandez has a case, at least in the United States.

That's because there is no copyright protection under U.S. law for physically functional items, including clothing, according to the Business of Fashion. But both Fernandez and Ratajkowski's products ship internationally and Fernandez invoked two European Union Community Design Registration certificates to make her case.

"While it's advisable for non-European designers to take advantage of registered design rights in Europe, the scope of those rights is limited," Susan Scafidi, professor of fashion law at Fordham Law School and founder of the Fashion Law Institute, told BOF. "In other words, unfortunately for designers seeking to shore up the minimal intellectual property protections available for fashion in jurisdictions like the US, both protection and enforcement are country by country."

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