Polo Ralph Lauren has had a $100m lawsuit filed against it by the US Polo Association, which said the fashion retailer has attempted to wipe out its branded apparel line through a "campaign of intimidation".

The lawsuit, which was filed on Thursday, said the upmarket retailer sent "threatening" letters to retailers saying the polo association's clothing infringed on Polo's trademarks.

"We believe there is enough room in the world for Polo Ralph Lauren and the US Polo Association to coexist," association lawyer Gerald Ferguson said. "Unfortunately, Polo Ralph Lauren has commenced a letter campaign with the intention to destroy the (association's) sports merchandising programme."

Mr Ferguson said that the Polo association had sent samples of its branded clothing to Polo Ralph Lauren for review before it sent the range to stockists and no complaint was raised at this stage.

This is the latest in a series of spats between the two.

Last June, a federal appeals court in New Orleans tossed out a lower-court ruling that denied the polo association's official magazine the right to use the name Polo.

"The word polo has meant a sport for hundreds of years," said Mr Ferguson. "Polo players are allowed to use the word polo on their shirts to refer to the association that governs their sport."