Doniger / Burroughs Wins Substantial Fee Award in a Fashion and Copyright Case

Los Angeles, CA – In early 2010, Double Zero, Inc. learned that a direct competitor, Bella D, Inc., was selling garments bearing a knock-off of one of Double Zero’s graphic designs to retailers including Styles for Less, Inc. Double Zero, through its attorneys at Doniger / Burroughs, brought suit against Bella D and Styles for Less for infringing Double Zero’s copyright in its original design. On July 21, 2011, the Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall granted a summary judgment motion brought by Doniger / Burroughs on the issue of liability for copyright infringement.

Despite the clear finding of liability against them on the copyright infringement claim, Bella D and Styles for Less persisted in their baseless claim that the copyright certificate at issue was invalid. Those claims were roundly rejected by the Court, which found that a copyright certificate carries a presumption of validity that is not disturbed by technical errors on the registration unless there is evidence of fraud. On the eve of trial, and perhaps fearful of answering to a jury, Bella D and Styles for Less admitted defeat in the case, and stipulated to a judgment of $60,000.00.

Double Zero then brought a motion for attorneys’ fees, seeking $91,406.00 against Bella D and Styles for Less in connection with the labor incurred in the copyright infringement action. On March 18, 2012, the Court granted the motion and awarded Double Zero the full $91,406.00 sought. The Court found that the defendants were unreasonable and “unduly prolonged this litigation,” and ruled consistent with the policy that attorneys’ fees serve as a deterrent to infringing parties.

Double Zero’s attorney David Shein said he and the client felt “vindicated after having to fight off spurious claims of invalidity in a case of unquestionable infringement.”

Double Zero is represented by Stephen Doniger, Scott Burroughs, and David Shein of Doniger / Burroughs APC.

Bella D and Styles for Less are represented by Deborah Sirias and Dan Decarlo of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP

For more information in regard to the above, please contact Kenneth Holmes at (310) 590-1820.

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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.