Controversial youth-oriented apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch found itself in the dock today amid allegations of "commercial exploitation" by a group of legendary surfers.

The case centres on the company's 1999 "Spring Fever" catalogue which included a photo of 13 legendary surfers who had not been told or given permission for the picture to be used.

Seven of the group are now seeking damages for what they claim is "commercial exploitation" and the illegal use of "their names and likeness for the             purpose of marketing products".

A judge originally found in favour of A&F on the grounds of free speech but an appeal court later overturned that decision and the case is due to start again in Los Angeles today.