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Business

German Firm Sues Gucci Over Perfume Licenses

Wella, the German maker of haircare products, cosmetics and perfumes, said Thursday it has filed lawsuits against the Italian luxury goods maker Gucci in a dispute over the length of a perfume licensing contract. Wella and Gucci disagree over how long the German company can make perfumes and fragrances under the Gucci brand, a spokesman for Wella's Cosmopolitan Cosmetics unit said. The German firm believes it has a 50-year contract to develop, produce and sell Gucci fragrances including Rush, Envy, Accenti, Nobile or Eau de Gucci, while the upscale French-owned Gucci claims the contract ran out in 2003. Lawsuits have been filed simultaneously in New York, Milan and Cologne, but Wella said it was keen to reach an out-of-court settlement. Wella's fragrances division, which employs more than 2,500, is one of the company's strongest performing businesses. It accounts for about a quarter of total Wella sales.