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Star Fabrics Lawsuits being filed in California Central District Court

Posted by Steve Vondran | Sep 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

Copyright Watchdog® – STAR FABRICS, INC., v. LOUISE PARIS, LTD., a New York Corporation; RAINBOW USA INC. If you are being sued by Star call us at (877) 276-5084.

Star Fabrics defense lawyer


Star Fabrics has filed many lawsuits for copyright infringement in the Central District of California. These lawsuits allege that various companies have infringed on their copyrights by using their copyrighted designs without authorization. Specifically, the complaints allege that the defendants have been creating, manufacturing, selling, distributing, and/or advertising fabric, apparel, and other related items bearing copyrighted designs owned by Star Fabrics. The defendants in the lawsuits are accused of infringing on the exclusive rights held by Star Fabrics under the U.S. Copyright Act and are being sued for damages, injunctive relief, and attorneys' fees.

This blog discusses Star Fabric lawsuits currently being filed by Doniger Burroughs APC law firm in Venice, California.  If you received a summons and complaint relating to a civil court lawsuit, call us to discuss your legal options.

2021 Updates:  Here are a few new lawsuits filed:

Star Fabrics v. SW Group, LLC et al

 as 2:2021cv00761


Star Fabrics, Inc. v.  Papillon Eastern Imports, Inc. et al

 as 2:2021cv00754
Star Fabrics, Inc. v. White Mark Universal, Inc. et al
 as 2:2021cv00740
Star Fabrics, Inc. v. UMGEE U.S.A., Inc. et al

 as 2:2021cv00595

Here are some sample allegations from one complaint

“Plaintiff owns an original two-dimensional artwork used for purposes of textile printing entitled 64824 (“Subject Design A”) which has been registered with the United States Copyright Office. 10. Prior to the acts complained of herein, Plaintiff widely disseminated fabric bearing Subject Design A to numerous parties in the fashion and apparel industries. 11. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that following its distribution of Subject Design A, RAINBOW, LOUISE PARIS, DOE Defendants, and each of them distributed and/or sold fabric and/or garments featuring a design which is substantially similar to Subject Design A (hereinafter “Subject Product A”) without Plaintiff's authorization, including but not limited to products sold by RAINBOW under SKU 0021148077 and bearing the label “TOXiK3” and RN 57686, indicating that it was manufactured by or for LOUISE PARIS.”

“Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Defendants, and each of them, had access to Subject Designs A and B (collectively, “Subject Designs”), including, without limitation, through:

(a) access to Plaintiff's showroom and/or design library;

(b) access to illegally distributed copies of 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 Subject Designs. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that one or more of the Defendants manufactures garments and/or is a garment vendor. Plaintiff is further informed and believes and thereon alleges that said Defendant(s), and each of them, has an ongoing business relationship with Defendant retailers, and each of them, and supplied garments to said retailers, which garments infringed Subject Designs in that said garments were composed of fabric which featured unauthorized print designs that were identical or substantially similar to Subject Designs, or were an illegal modification thereof. 20. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Defendants, and each of them, infringed Plaintiff's copyright by creating, making and/or developing directly infringing and/or derivative works from Subject Designs and by producing, distributing and/or selling Subject Products through a nationwide network of retail stores, catalogues, and through on-line websites. Due to Defendants', and each of their, acts of infringement,

Plaintiff has suffered damages in an amount to be established at trial. Due to Defendants', and each of their, acts of copyright infringement as alleged herein, Defendants, and each of them, have obtained profits they would not otherwise have realized but for their infringement of Subject Designs. As such, Plaintiff is entitled to disgorgement of Defendants', and each of their, profits attributable to the infringement of Subject Designs in an amount to be established at trial. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that Defendants, and each of them, have committed copyright infringement with actual or constructive knowledge of Plaintiff's rights such that said acts of copyright infringement were, and continue to be, willful, intentional and malicious.

That Defendants—each of them—and their respective agents and servants be enjoined from importing, manufacturing, distributing, offering for sale, selling or otherwise trafficking in any product that infringes Plaintiff's copyrights in Subject Designs;

That Plaintiff be awarded all profits of Defendants, and each of them, plus all losses of Plaintiff, the exact sum to be proven at the time of trial, or, if elected before final judgment, statutory damages as available under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq.;

That Plaintiff be awarded its attorneys' fees as available under the Copyright Act U.S.C. § 101 et seq.;

That Plaintiff be awarded pre-judgment interest as allowed by law;

That Plaintiff be awarded the costs of this action; and

That Plaintiff be awarded such further legal and equitable relief as the Court deems proper.”

Motion to Dismiss Star Fabrics Case Denied in the Central District of California

Star Fabrics defense attorney

Costco Wholesale, Dillard's and Centric Denim were slapped with a copyright infringement lawsuit in California Central District Court. The court action was brought by Doniger/Burroughs on behalf of Star Fabrics, which contends that the defendants sell apparel which infringes two copyrighted designs. The case is 2:23-cv-00610, Star Fabrics, Inc. v. Centric Denim USA, LLC et al. Here are a few snippets from the motion to dismiss filed by Defendant Centric Denim USA, LLC.

  • Evidence of copying can be established through direct or indirect evidence. Where no direct evidence of copying is provided, a plaintiff may establish copying by showing “that the infringer had access to the work and that the two works are substantially similar.” Shaheed-Edwards v. Syco Entm’t, Inc.,. The defendants contest neither copyright ownership nor that they had access to either the Plaintiff's designs. They instead contend that Plaintiff's later work is not a derivative work of its earlier work because it is not substantially similar and thus fails the test articulated by the Ninth Circuit, which imports the substantial similarity analysis into determining whether a work is derivative. Substantial similarity is assessed through the extrinsic test and the intrinsic test. "The extrinsic test requires plaintiffs to show overlap of concrete elements based on objective criteria, while the intrinsic test is subjective and asks whether the ordinary, reasonable person would find 'the total concept and feel of the works' to be substantially similar." Unicolors, Inc. v Urban Outfitters, Inc., 853 F.3d 980, 985 (9th Cir. 2017). Courts do not consider the intrinsic test in evaluating a motion to dismiss because it is a question solely for the jury. “In comparing fabric designs, [courts] must examine the similarities in their objective details in appearance, including, but not limited to, the subject matter, shapes, colors, materials, and arrangement of the representations.” Klauber Bros., Inc. v. City Chic Collective Ltd., (C.D. Cal. Dec. 6, 2022) 
fabric designs and copyright infringement
  • Looking to the objective, concrete elements that overlap, the Court concludes that the later design is a derivative of the earlier fabric design. Even though the colors of the fabrics are different, there are minor differences in the stems and the centers of the flowers, and there are more flowers in the earlier design than just the poppy image, it is plain that the stylized shape of the poppy flower is nearly identical in both prints. This stylized flower is featured prominently in both prints. In both works, flowers appear to be arranged at random across the fabric so that the flowers cover the entire fabric swatch. Both designs share a hand-painted appearance. It is therefore clearly plausible that it falls within the Copyright Act's definition of a derivative work, as Plaintiff has plausibly alleged that it was “based” on the earlier fabric and was “recast, transformed or adapted.” Construing all inferences in Plaintiff's favor, it has plausibly pled that the two fabric designs are substantially similar. See id. (“[R]easonable minds could readily disagree about the substantial similarities between the allegedly infringing designs and Subject Design A, rendering dismissal inappropriate.”). Accordingly, design 74205 is a derivative work of design 60672. Defendant's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's requests for attorney's fees and statutory damages is therefore denied.

B. Copyright Infringement: The Court next considers whether the Defendants' offending product infringes design 60672. Plaintiff has properly pled a copyright infringement claim. Looking to the extrinsic similarities between Plaintiff's two designs, it is clear that the exact same stylized flower outline was used in both. This stylized flower, again, is not a literal reproduction of the flower as it appears in nature, but rather is a graphic rendition that appears to be the same outline, despite the differences Defendants have pointed to, such as the shapes of the stems and the colors and compositions of each design. Therefore, for the same reasons as discussed above, Plaintiff has plausibly alleged that its design is substantially similar to Defendants' product.

CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, the Court DENIES Defendant's motion to dismiss. Defendant shall have 14 days from the issuance of this Order to answer the complaint. IT IS SO ORDERED.

Learn more about penalties and damages in Copyright infringement cases

Star Fabrics lawsuit info

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What to do if you receive a Star Fabrics infringement notice or summons in a lawsuit

If your company received notice that you are selling items on your website (or offline) that infringement Star Fabrics copyrights, here is what you should do:

1.  Don't call them.  Call us first to discuss.  Some people try to reach out to Star Fabric hoping to "smooth it over" with them or looking for a "quick settlement."  This is not a good approach because you are dealing with skilled copyright attorneys on the Plaintiff's side.  They have filed many lawsuits and are extremely experienced in this area of copyright law.  Preserve all your defenses.  Do not admit to liability.  Lawyer up and see where you stand.  There is no cost for an initial consultation.

2.  Don't move to destroy evidence (this rarely helps, especially in federal court where "spoliation" claims can lead to more problems and work almost as an admission of guilt (you can have adverse inferences read to the jury).  Keep the status quo until an attorney reviews your case, the lawsuit, and all correspondence.

Contact a California Fashion Infringement Law Firm

If you are being sued in a federal district court in California by Star Fabrics, contact us to discuss. We are an experienced copyright infringement defense law firm in business since 2004. We have appeared in over 400 federal court copyright infringement cases.

We can help you explore your potential legal defenses and discuss the potential for early settlement of your case.  

Call us at (877) 276-5084 for a free initial consultation or email us through our contact form

We represent clients in the Central District of California, Eastern DistrictSouthern District, and Northern District of California and in the federal courts in Arizona. We have also been admitted to select federal courts in Texas and New York. 

About the Author

Steve Vondran

Thank you for viewing our blogs, videos and podcasts. As noted, all information on this website is Attorney Advertising. Decisions to hire an attorney should never be based on advertising alone. Any past results discussed herein do not guarantee or predict any future results. All blogs are written by Steve Vondran, Esq. unless otherwise indicated. Our firm handles a wide variety of intellectual property and entertainment law cases from music and video law, Youtube disputes, DMCA litigation, copyright infringement cases involving software licensing disputes (ex. BSA, SIIA, Siemens, Autodesk, Vero, CNC, VB Conversion and others), torrent internet file-sharing (Strike 3 and Malibu Media), California right of publicity, TV Signal Piracy, and many other types of IP, piracy, technology, and social media disputes. Call us at (877) 276-5084. AZ Bar Lic. #025911 CA. Bar Lic. #232337


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