Doniger / Burroughs Prevails at 9th Circuit – Update

Culver City, CA – On January 26, 2011, the 9th Circuit issued its ruling in the closely-watched appellate matter entitled United Fabrics International, Inc. v. C&J Wear, Inc.; et al. 09-56499. In that case, textile and design company United Fabrics International, Inc. alleged that Macy’s, Inc. was selling garments that bore a fabric design that infringed a United Fabrics design copyright. United Fabrics also alleged that garments were created from fabric imported from Korea by Lucky Kim International, Inc.

The lower court dismissed the case on the grounds that the copyright registration for the United Fabrics design was invalid. The 9th Circuit, in a clear and unequivocal opinion, rejected this basis, and reversed the lower court’s ruling. In doing so, it confirmed that a copyright registration holder is entitled to a presumption of validity for its registration, and an alleged infringer must produce substantive evidence to rebut the presumption.

The 9th Circuit found that Macy’s failed to produce any such evidence and noted that it was “skeptical” of Macy’s’ attorney’s understanding of the particular copyright law at issue. In the end, it adopted the legal arguments made by United Fabrics and overturned the lower court’s ruling.

This opinion is a resounding victory for artists, designers, creative industry professionals, and copyright holders nationwide.

Scott A. Burroughs and Stephen M. Doniger of Doniger / Burroughs APC represented United Fabrics International. Scott Shaw, Mark Eisenhut, and Melinda Evans of Call & Jensen, P.C. represented Macy’s, Inc.  

Contact Scott A. Burroughs at (310) 590-1820 or  

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  • About the Firm

    Doniger / Burroughs is California’s premier fashion, art, entertainment, and technology law boutique. The firm has resolved more than 1,000 disputes over the almost 20 years it has been in existence, and has represented all manner of individuals and businesses in the creative industries. Its lawyers have extensive state and federal court experience, and hail from well-regarded law schools. The firm has been on the forefront of cutting-edge copyright law, appearing often before judges, juries, and the Courts of Appeal. It has tried more copyright infringement cases than virtually any other firm over the last 5-10 years, and has obtained for its clients numerous six- and seven-figure verdicts and settlements.

    The firm is committed to representing artists and content creators, and enforcing intellectual property rights. It has litigated successfully against many of the nation’s largest retailers, film and television studios, web sites, and news organizations. Its partners speak and write often on art and copyright law issues, and devote significant time and resources to ensuring a level playing field for those responsible for the creation of art and content.