The internet giant that owns the world’s biggest clothing store, Zara, is the subject of a major US patent lawsuit.
The case, brought by Zara’s former CEO, Yannick Girard, seeks to block the company from using the patent to make more clothes.
Zara was founded in 2000 by Zia Moustafa, the father of current Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, and his brother Mohamed.
The lawsuit, which is currently pending, says Zara uses the patent in the manufacture of clothes in Egypt, and that it has been used to import clothes from countries including the United States, India, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
The suit also accuses Zara of “intellectual property infringement” for allegedly infringing patents in the design of the Zara clothing store and its website.
Zara says it has used the patent since 2006.
“We will continue to vigorously defend the patent, and our investors and customers will have confidence in Zara,” Zara said in a statement.
Zola has been the target of patent trolling lawsuits before.
In 2012, Zola was sued by the Chinese government for patent infringement of its mobile phone technology.
It lost that case.
Zaas chief executive officer said the suit was an attempt to “defend our right to make money”.
“We have the patent and the right to use it, and we will fight,” he told AFP news agency.
“We are not trying to make a profit out of this lawsuit.”
In January 2017, a US federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that Zara could not use the patent for its mobile phones.
Zia’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.