WARRENDALE, Pa., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- American Eagle Outfitters (Nasdaq: AEOS) announced today that for the third time in four years it once again prevailed in court against Abercrombie & Fitch. On February 15, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision by the lower court to dismiss the case filed by Abercrombie in June 1998. The Appeals Court confirmed that Abercrombie's claims were wrong as a matter of law. The opinion stated that: "The clothing designs A&F seeks a monopoly on are functional as a matter of law, and therefore not protectable as trade dress." The court also emphasized there is no similarity in catalogs noting, American Eagle Outfitters' "photographs, in contrast, present a decidedly wholesome image, with people of various ages in non-suggestive, often family-oriented situations; nudity is absent." Roger Markfield, President and Chief Merchandising Officer, stated: "We have said from day one that this suit was frivolous and an unfortunate waste of our time and our stockholder's money. Certain basic, classic American themes of dress are out there in the mainstream, and the courts have again said no single company can own them exclusively. Our design and merchandising teams have consistently found new ways to work those classic themes, creating a unique output that is the product line of American Eagle Outfitters. A company attitude that stresses constant exploration and reinvention of those themes explains our continued success in the marketplace. At American Eagle Outfitters we believe in fair competition and will continue to compete by providing great fashion at great prices to our target customer." Since the time this lawsuit was filed, American Eagle Outfitters' sales have nearly tripled, reaching a record $1.372 billion for the fiscal year ended February 2, 2002. Founded in 1977, American Eagle Outfitters designs, markets, and sells the American Eagle brand of relaxed, clean, and versatile clothing for 16 to 34 year-olds, providing high-quality merchandise at affordable prices. AE's lifestyle collection offers casual basics like cargos complemented by fashion looks in stretch, denim, and other modern fabrications. American Eagle Outfitters also operates the Bluenotes/Thriftys specialty apparel chain in Canada. Bluenotes/Thriftys offers an urban inspired, denim-driven collection for 12 to 22 year-olds. The Company currently operates 632 American Eagle Outfitters stores in 47 states and the District of Columbia, 46 American Eagle Outfitters stores in Canada, and 112 Bluenotes/Thriftys stores in Canada. AE also operates via its Internet business, ae.com. MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X92882683
SOURCE American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.