In addition to citing concerns over labor and human rights, attorneys general for sixteen states asserted in an August 24 letter to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Gary Gensler that Shein is “stealing other designers’ work” and relying on a “network of putatively independent suppliers [that] allows it to immediately create or exploit trends – often blurring the lines of intellectual property and copyright.” Not limited to allegations from states’ counsels, infringement claims have been lodged against Shein – and its various entities, including Shein Distribution Corp., Shein US Services, Shein Fashion Group, Inc., Zoetop Business Co., and Roadget Business PTE, among others – in the steady stream of lawsuits that have been filed in U.S. courts in recent years.
Against that background, we took a dive into the state of Shein’s legal dealings, looking exclusively at the complaints waged against it and its related entities (collectively, “Shein”) in federal courts in the U.S. At a high level, we found the following …
> Shein has been on the receiving end of new lawsuits since the beginning of 2020 when the first wave of litigation was initiated against the company in federal courts in the U.S. By our count, Shein is currently facing upwards of 30 ongoing cases.
> The bulk of such litigation waged against Shein comes in the form of intellectual property cases, with plaintiffs primarily alleging that Shein engaged in copyright, trademark, and/or patent infringement. On the topic of infringement, Shein’s spokesperson said that the company “takes all claims of infringement seriously,” and that “it is not our intent to infringe anyone’s valid intellectual property and it is not our business model to do so.”
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