Copyright Watchdog – JOANNE FABRIC, INC., a California Corporation; Plaintiff, vs. ZULILY, LLC., a Washington limited liability company; and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive. FABRIC DESIGN INFRINGEMENT.
Fabric design copyright infringement cases appear to be on the rise. This blog provides a general legal overview of a fabric design case filed by the law firm of Jeong and Likens LC. If you were served with a copy of a federal court summons and complaint you only have a limited time to respond. Call us for a free initial consultation. We are a copyright infringement law firm and we can help if you find your company in a lawsuit in California Central District, Eastern District, Southern District, or Northern District, or in Arizona federal court.
Sample allegations in the complaint
Here are some sample allegations set forth in the complaint:
“Plaintiff is a California-based company engaged in the apparel industry as a textile converter of imported and domestic fabrications. Plaintiff creates, or purchases and obtains, exclusive rights to unique two-dimensional graphic artworks for use on textiles and garments, and those textiles and garments are transacted primarily in the fashion industry.
Plaintiff owns these designs in exclusivity and makes sales of products bearing these designs for profit. Plaintiff's business is predicated on its ownership of these designs and it spends a considerable amount of time and resources creating and obtaining top-quality, marketable and aesthetically appealing designs.
Customers of Plaintiff, including possibly DOE defendants named herein, take design samples with the understanding and agreement that they will only utilize Plaintiff to reproduce said designs should they wish to do so, and will not seek to make minor changes to Plaintiff's proprietary work to reproduce the same elsewhere, yet use those designs in furtherance of their business in violation of both their contractual agreement with Plaintiff and Plaintiff's copyrights. No other party is authorized to make sales of product bearing Plaintiff's proprietary designs without express permission from Plaintiff. This action is brought to recover damages for direct, vicarious and contributory copyright infringement arising out of the misappropriation of Plaintiff's exclusive designs by the Defendants, and each of them.”
More information about Joanne Fabric
“Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that some of Defendants Does 1 through 3, inclusive, are manufacturers and/or vendors of garments to Defendant, which DOE Defendants have manufactured and/or supplied and are manufacturing and/or supplying garments comprised of fabric printed with Plaintiff's copyrighted design(s) (as hereinafter defined) without Plaintiff's knowledge or consent or have contributed to said infringement.”
Plaintiff is the owner and author of a two-dimensional artwork titled “MO- 2939” (“Subject Design”). (Exhibit A). Plaintiff applied for a copyright from the United States Copyright Office for the Subject Design on and was granted Registration VA 2-049-419 effective on May 9, 2017. (Exhibit B). Case 2:17-cv-06797-MWF-AGR.
Plaintiff formatted the Subject Design for use on textiles, sampled the Subject Design, and negotiated sales of fabric bearing the Subject Design. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Defendants, each of them, had access to the Subject Designs, including without limitation, through:
(a) access to Plaintiff's showroom and/or design library;
(b) access to illegally distributed copies of the Subject Designs by third-party vendors and/or DOE Defendants, including without limitation international and/or overseas converters and printing mills;
(c) access to Plaintiff's strike-offs and samples;
(d) access to garments in the marketplace manufactured with lawfully printed fabric bearing the Subject Designs. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that, without Plaintiff's authorization, Defendant ZULILY purchased, sold, marketed, advertised, manufactured, caused to be manufactured, imported and/or distributed fabric and/or garments comprised of fabric featuring a design which is identical, or substantially similar to, the Subject Design. A true and correct copy of such a garment is attached hereto as Exhibit C. Said garments include but are not limited to garments sold by ZULILY titled “Black & Beige Abstract Maternity Top”.
At various times Defendant ZULILY owned and controlled offline and/or online retail stores, and each, Plaintiff's investigation revealed that garments comprised of fabric bearing the Subject Design were being offered for sale, garments which were manufactured and/or imported under the direction of the Defendants, and each of them. None of the aforementioned transactions were authorized by Plaintiff, and all were in violation of Plaintiff's intellectual property rights.”
What are the potential damages and penalties for infringement?
VIDEO: Click here to watch our popular video on copyright infringement damages explained. It is essential viewing if you are involved in a lawsuit.
What happens if I don't respond to the lawsuit?
The Plaintiff can seek a “default judgement” and the Court can decide what the damages will be. After a judgment is obtained Plaintiff can seek to engage in collection activities to seek to recover.
Contact a California Copyright Infringement Law Firm
Our law firm has extensive litigation experience in federal court. Contact us for a free initial consultation to discuss your case and potential defenses to copyright infringement. Call (877) 276-5084. We can help you decide the best course of action which may include seeking an early settlement, or raise affirmative defenses and litigating the case to conclusion.