Forget the Runway. Heidi Klum
's next project could be in the courtroom.
Van Cleef & Arpels filed suit against the Project Runway
host in Manhattan's federal court last week, claiming that her jewelry line ripped off their clover design.
The papers claim that the designs created by Heidi Klum GmbH and Mouawad USA are so similar to Van Cleef & Arpels's vintage Alhambra line, they create "confusion in the marketplace." (The suit, first reported by TMZ.com
, also cites an Oct. 21 New York Times
article, which states "Heidi Klum appropriated the clover design for jewelry she designs for Mouawad.")
The luxury jewelry house is suing Klum, 34, for copyright infringement and asks for damages in excess of $25,000.
Designer Pascal Mouawad, head of Mouawad USA, dismisses the claim, telling PEOPLE: "We believe this claim has no merit. It's clear that shapes like clovers, hearts, crosses, etc, are universal symbols and are commonly used in jewelry."
He adds, "Heidi has been wearing her pieces on Project Runway
and we've seen them become quite popular. The clover has always been in fashion and you can see that many other luxury jewelry houses have their own interpretations of this wonderful shape such as Louis Vuitton and Chopard. "