French fashion chain Zadig & Voltaire has taken Gap Inc to court in France claiming the US giant has counterfeited one of its best-selling garments.

Zadig & Voltaire, which produces around 70,000 long-sleeved V-necked "Tunisian" T-shirts each year, claims that Gap reproduced the article in more or less identical fashion, right down to its distinctive features of five buttons facing five imitation buttonholes and a collar made up of five layers of superimposed roughly-cut fabric.

It alleges that the T-shirt was part of Gap's Slub Henley line and was sold in its shops in France, the UK and the US.

The company lodged its complaint with a Paris commercial court earlier this year but has so far drawn little reaction from Gap, said Isabelle Wekstein-Steg of Zadig & Voltaire's lawyers, Wan Avocats.

"Gap has until around the end of next month to state its position in court but Zadig & Voltaire is already mulling further legal action in France, with regard to Gap's website and also in the US and the UK,"  she said.

"The latest information we have indicates that Gap has withdrawn the lookalike Tunisian from its shops. Whether this is the case or not we will continue to seek indemnities."

By Stuart Todd.