Italian fashion house Gucci is suing Guess Inc in the US, alleging that the jeans and accessories company has copied its trademarks with "reckless disregard" for the law.

Gucci is seeking an injunction, damages and costs in the court action, launched in the US District Court of Southern New York.

The allegations centre on a number of Gucci trademarks, including the company's distinctive red-green-red stripe motif, its interlocking GG letters, its stylised G mark and the Gucci script design mark.

The suit alleges that Guess has produced and sold "studied imitations" of Gucci trademarks, showing "reckless disregard" for the Italian company's rights in an effort to exploit the strength of the Gucci brand.

The alleged copies, adds the court filing, are "part of a sophisticated and elaborate scheme to target Gucci, to create products that are similar in appearance to the most popular and best-known Gucci products, and to trade upon the goodwill and reputation associated with Gucci and its high-quality, distinctive product lines".

Gucci is seeking damages, plus an award of three times the profits gained from the alleged copies, and its legal costs.

Guess did not respond to requests for comment on the case.