A row has broken out between clothing brands Joules and Musto, with Joules accusing its competitor of ripping off aspects of its designs.

Musto is alleged to have copied the colour of the drawstrings in its hoodies, the writing on its buttons, the colour of the stripes on its Breton tops and the velvet ribbon detail on the pockets from Joules.

Musto marketing director Mostyn Thomas said his company “vigorously denied the allegations”.

Both companies refused to comment further, saying the matter was in the hands of their lawyers.

The story broke in The Sunday Times business section on 23 January.

The paper claimed that Tom Joule was demanding damages and legal fees — thought to be around £500,000 — from Musto and a half-page large-print advert in Drapers magazine, admitting that it has infringed Joules’ copyright.

A look on both websites reveals that although similar in style, the tops are not the same in price. A women’s striped hoodie from Joules is £49, while a similar garment from Musto is £67.

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (10 February, 2011)