A lawsuit has been filed against online retailer Shein, accusing the company of engaging in “egregious” copyright infringement that amounts to racketeering. The lawsuit alleges that Shein has been copying and selling products that are exact replicas of copyrighted designs from various designers. The plaintiffs claim that Shein’s actions violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The lawsuit also highlights Shein’s status as the largest fashion retailer in the world, with annual sales of nearly $30 billion. Shein has not commented on the pending litigation. The lawsuit further describes instances where designers discovered their copied designs being sold by Shein and received inadequate responses when raising concerns. The lawsuit acknowledges the challenges of pursuing Shein in court due to its decentralized structure. The RICO Act is being invoked to address the alleged misconduct and protect the designers’ rights. The Act has been used to combat organized crime as well as white-collar crimes in the past. The lawsuit claims that copyright infringement of this nature qualifies as racketeering.
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