Star of The Real Housewives of New York, Heather Thomson, is suing the shapewear giant Spanx for patent infringement. The suit claims that a set of slimming tank tops currently offered by Spanx are copies of a product patented by Thomson and sold through her brand, Yummie Tummie.
Times Three Clothier, LLC, the company started by Thomson, is asking for sales injunctions against the allegedly copied tanks (meaning Spanx would have to stop selling the garments) and otherwise unspecified damages.
The shapewear drama began in January, when Yummie Tummie sent a cease and desist letter to Spanx, asking them to stop making the tank top. Spanx responded by filing paperwork in federal court, requesting a declaration that they were not infringing on any patent, saying in a statement that "we will continue to make fabulous products for our loyal fans."
Times Three Clothier has responded Tuesday April 8th with this suit, saying that "Spanx by Sarah Blakely intends to continue its willful and intentional infringement of Yummie Tummie's design patents," and Thomson recently told Women's Wear Daily that she hopes Blakely is "ready for war."
This isn't the first time Thomson has taken other companies to court for copyright infringement. In 2011 there were two separate patent cases, one against Maidenform in which Times Three was awarded $6.75 million, and one against the American subsidary of Li & Fung Group settled for an undisclosed sum.