Luxury UK fashion group Burberry has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against JC Penney for selling outerwear featuring what it claims is an exact replica of its Burberry check pattern. 

The case, filed in US District Court, Southern District of New York, claims the US department store group has offered for sale and sold merchandise, including scarves, coats and jackets displaying the Burberry check trademark or "substantially indistinguishable reproductions thereof". This, it says, is without permission, authorisation or approval.

Burberry says that for nearly a century it has "devoted substantial resources to promoting the goodwill of its principal trademarks, including its distinctive check trademarks" that feature a number of colour combinations, most notably its original red, camel, black and white check. 

It accuses JC Penney of continuing to sell its infringing products for two months after learning of Burberry's objections. Distributor Levy Group is also named as a defendant. 

The lawsuit seeks to put a stop to any further infringements on its trademark, plus either triple damages, the disgorgement of illegal profit, or up to US$2m for each infringed trademark.

In a statement, JC Penney said it is fully indemnified by its supplier, and therefore any damages awarded will have no financial impact on the company.

"While no assurance can be given as to the ultimate outcome of the lawsuit, the company believes the final resolution of the lawsuit will not have a materially adverse effect on its results of operations, financial position, liquidity or capital resources."