Fashion Law

Doniger / Burroughs Client Prevails at Trial on Copyright Infringement Claims [Fashion]

Pasadena, CA – In a stunning victory, Doniger / Burroughs client L.A. Printex prevailed over defendants Aeropostale and Ms. Bubble at trial on Friday. The jury trial, which was presided over by the Honorable Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the 9th Circuit, involved claims of copyright infringement related to garments sold by Aeropostale and Ms. Bubbles. The garments at issue, which Ms. Bubbles had manufactured in, and imported from, Hong Kong, contained a copy of a design created and owned by L.A. Printex, the jury found.

The jury found for L.A. Printex on all counts. In its unanimous verdict, the jury found that both defendants were liable for copyright infringement, and Ms. Bubbles was liable for willful copyright infringement. The jury rejected all arguments made by defendants.

During the proceedings, the court stated on the record that one of the defendants’ primary defenses was  “desperate,” and a “fishing expedition.” At the close of defendants’ case, the Court granted plaintiff’s FRCP 50 motion for judgment as a matter of law on this defense.

Prior to trial, Ms. Bubbles had made an offer to settle the case for $24,000.00. Aeropostale failed to make any offer to settle the case. After the jury returned the unanimous verdict finding that both defendants were liable for copyright infringement, the parties attended a settlement conference before Magistrate Judge Michael R. Wilner. The conference took place the night before the jury was to decide the amount of damages to be awarded to plaintiff in the case. At this conference, the parties settled the case, and a related matter between the parties, for a low seven-figure sum.

L.A. Printex was represented by Stephen M. Doniger and Scott A. Burroughs of Doniger / Burroughs.

Ms. Bubbles was represented by Deborah Sirias and Robert Collins of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith

Aeropostale was represented by Kristin Holland and Cory Baskin of Katten Muchin & Rosenman

For more information on this matter, please contact Grace Garcia at (310) 590-1820.

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Doniger / Burroughs Partner Quoted in California Apparel News Article Detailing Fashion Copyright Battles

Los Angeles, CA – California Apparel News reports on the copyright battles that have been brewing over the unauthorized use and exploitation of proprietary textile designs by shady clothing companies looking to cut corners and improve the bottom line.

The corner-cutting occurs when the clothing company obtains a print or graphic design that it wants to use on a dress, shirt, or other clothing item, but doesn’t want to pay the price requested by design house or fabric company that expended money (in designer salaries, design room equipment costs, and so son) to create the original designs. Given the costs of creating unique and trendy design lines, these design houses or fabric companies must charge a higher price for fabric bearing that designs than companies without these costs. The corner-cutter’s solution? Send the design to an overseas factory, where copyright laws are lenient or non-existent, and have that factory knock the design off, print it on fabric, and ship it back into the United States.

This, of course, is unlawful, as Stephen M. Doniger of Doniger / Burroughs APC explains in this article:

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Doniger / Burroughs Prevails on Summary Judgment in Fashion Industry Case against Urban Outfitters

[Copyright Law] [Fashion Law][Litigation]

Los Angeles, CA – United Fabrics Int’l., Inc., represented by Scott A. Burroughs at Doniger / Burroughs APC, filed a copyright action against Urban Outfitters in 2010. At issue in the case were “Free People” garments that Urban Outfitters had created in Taiwan, and which were then imported into the United States and sold to the public through Urban Outfitters retail stores.

United Fabrics alleged that the “Free People” garments imported from Taiwan bore a design that had been copied from United Fabrics’ proprietary design line. Urban Outfitter vehemently disagreed, arguing that United Fabrics could not establish it held a valid copyright, and that its design had not been copied. The Court, after considering a lengthy motion for summary judgment filed by Mr. Burroughs, voiced its agreement with United Fabrics’ position. Specifically, it granted United Fabrics’ Motion, and found that Urban Outfitters violated the Copyright Act and is liable for copyright infringement.

The case will now proceed to trial to establish the amount of damages for which Urban Outfitters is responsible.

United Fabrics Int’l., Inc. is represented by Scott A. Burroughs of Doniger / Burroughs APC

Urban Outfitters, Inc. is represented by Tara Martin of Gordon & Rees

 For more information, please contact Kenneth Holmes 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.