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 courts 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 Macys failed to produce any such evidence and noted that it was skeptical of Macys attorneys understanding of the particular copyright law at issue. In the end, it adopted the legal arguments made by United Fabrics and overturned the lower courts 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.
FOR A COPY OF THE OPINION AND/OR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Contact Scott A. Burroughs at (310) 590-1820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.