Woman claims Target stores aimed to steal her shirt design

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A Milwaukie, OR, woman claims retail giant Target stole her design for a black tank top with an American flag logo. (KTRK)

A stay-at-home mom in Oregon says she became an unfair target for one of her t-shirt designs, ABC affiliate KATU-TV reports.

Melissa Lay designs, prints and sells her own t-shirts from her garage. Now, she claims retailer Target stole one of her designs.

"(I was) blown away," said Lay, "because as a small business owner (and) a mom, I work hard on every shirt I sell."

A friend of Melissa's found a nearly identical top from a Target store in Seattle. Another found the design at a Target in Texas.

While the designs appear to be the same, there are a few small differences. The Target shirt has a distressed flag, as opposed to Lay's original design. Lay also says the material used to make Target's shirts is of lesser quality than hers.

The Target tank retails for $12.99. Lay's handmade t-shirt is $25.

Lay does not have a copyright on every one of her designs because she says it's simply too expensive.

"I would have to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to fix this, and I still might lose," Lay told KATU-TV.

Lay reached out to Target's headquarters in Minneapolis who encouraged her to write a letter outlining her complaint.
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