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Moda in Pelle pays out £250,000 to Gina

Moda in Pelle has paid luxury footwear brand Gina £100,000 damages plus legal costs of £150,000 and will destroy 5,000 pairs of shoes after Gina accused it of copying its designs.

Moda in Pelle said it had not intentionally copied the designs and that the similarities between its shoes and Gina's Zeta, Naomi and Colette styles had been accidental.

Gina managing director Attila Kurdash said: "The scale and audacity of the copying was such that we had to take hard, decisive action. We spend considerable time and effort in developing and creating our original designs. To have them copied like this is unacceptable. We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to copies and will take action whenever necessary."

However Stephen Buck the owner of Moda in Pelle said that the similarity between the shoes was entirely accidental and unintentional. He added: "Facing the threat of potential legal action, Moda In Pelle's first instinct was to fight and defend our innocence."

"Upon reflection and after much soul searching, we decided it would ultimately be easier, less expensive and allow us all to get back to our lives if we made a settlement with Gina. That settlement is £100,000 plus costs," Buck added in a statement.

Alex Carter-Silk, of the law firm Speechly Bircham which acted for Gina, said: "Gina has always taken the protection of its unique designs seriously and never hesitates to take action to protect itself against high street plagiarism."

Carter-Silk added: "It is imperative that luxury brands such as Gina protect the value of their designs and deter copycats. Europe now has some of the best designers as well as the best legal protection for designs in the world. This is a salutary lesson for importers and retailers to be extremely careful when dealing in designs of unknown provenance."

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