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Target accused of cribbing a Coach bag

Suit seeks profits from sales, ID of maker of copies

Coach Inc., the luxury leather-goods maker, sued Target Corp., claiming the second-largest US discount chain is selling counterfeit versions of one of its handbags.

Target sold over $1 million in copies of a Coach bag it ``explicitly identifies as a genuine Coach product," according to a lawsuit filed Friday in Manhattan federal court.

The complaint for trademark infringement claims Minneapolis-based Target is purposely misleading customers into believing they are buying a Coach bag at a discount. A bag bought at a Target store in Largo, Fla., ``is an exact replica" of a Coach bag, the suit claimed.

Coach is seeking a court order barring Target from selling counterfeit bags. The lawsuit also requests payment of any profits the discount retailer made on sales of the item, and the name of the person or company that's been supplying it.

Target has outpaced the growth of bigger rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. by offering clothing from well-known designers such as Sophie Albou and Isaac Mizrahi.

``Target has procedures in place to ensure that we do not sell counterfeit products," the company said in an e-mailed statement. ``We have been assured that the Coach product showcased in our store is authentic therefore we believe the lawsuit is without merit."

Target shares rose 57 cents to $55.82 in trading yesterday.

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