Maidenform's Flexees tank (left) and Yummie Tummie's strappy tank (right) are at issue. Photos: Maidenform.com | YummieTummie.com

A lawsuit between Maidenform Brands Inc. and Times Three Clothier LLC is shaping up to be a fashion fight.

The two companies are suing each other over last year's launch of Maidenform's multimillion-dollar Fat Free Dressing by Flexees line and Times Three's Yummie Tummie shapewear line, which has had sales in the $8 million range, reports Women's Wear Daily.

According to a statement provided to StyleList from Maidenform, the company filed suit in federal district court in Manhattan on March 2 seeking a declaration that a design patent owned by Times Three Clothier had not been infringed by Maidenform and is invalid.

"The suit was prompted by Times Three Clothier's having earlier contacted Maidenform's customers about that patent," according to the statement.

At the time of the suit, Times Three had one design patent for the Yummie Tummie Strappy Tank, WWD reports, adding that the company has since acquired three more Yummie Tummie patents.

In September, according to WWD, Times Three countersued, accusing Maidenform of copyright design-patent infringement.

According to court records, WWD reports, Times Three CEO Heather Thomson-Schindler and her business partner, Eric Rothfeld, had a meeting with Maurice Reznik, Maidenform's CEO, on Jan. 29, 2009, to discuss a possible acquisition of Times Three and the Yummie Tummie designs by Maidenform.

An agreement was not reached, but, in July 2009, execs at Times Three "became aware of the accused Maidenform garments," the suit states, as reported by WWD.

"I am extremely passionate about the work we do at Yummie Tummie and very proud of everything we have accomplished the last few years," Thomson-Schindler tells StyleList. "I look forward to the opportunity to represent Yummie Tummie and defend both our name and our innovative product."

Maidenform intends to vigorously pursue its claim and defend against Times Three Clothier's counterclaim, according to the company's statement to StyleList.

"The design patent on which Maidenform filed suit and the closely related patents which subsequently issued in the same family and have now been asserted by Times Three Clothier are not infringed by Maidenform's products," the statement says.

"They are also invalid and unenforceable because they attempt to cover designs which were on the market earlier and of which the United States Patent and Trademark Office was unaware when it issued those patents."

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