Halloween Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Over Skull-Shaped Cups

Halloween-copyright-infringement-attorney-skull-design-cup-spencer.jpgCool Gear filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Spencer Gifts and Spirit Halloween Superstores for selling cups incorporating Cool Gear’s copyrighted three-dimensional skull. The skull qualifies as a three-dimensional work of visual art and is entitled to copyright protection and registration. Indeed, Cool Gear is the owner of U.S. Copyright Registration No. VA 1-876-232 for the work titled “Three Dimensional Representation of A Skull.” The complaint alleges:

Defendants, without the permission or consent of Plaintiff, have manufactured and sold, and continue to manufacture and sell, a plastic tumbler product with a three-dimensional skull insert that is substantially identical to the Copyrighted Work (the “Infringing Work”). . . In doing so, Defendants have violated Plaintiff’s exclusive rights of reproduction and distribution. Defendants’ actions constitute infringement of Plaintiff’s copyrights and exclusive rights under copyright law.

It seems like Halloween season scares up a new Halloween themed lawsuit every year, including 2011’s Power Rangers Halloween costume trademark and copyright infringement lawsuit. Plaintiff seeks preliminary and permanent injunctions preventing defendants’ sales of the accused cups, in addition to unspecified monetary damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs.

The conduct of Defendants is causing and, unless enjoined and restrained by this Court, will continue to cause Plaintiff great and irreparable injury that cannot fully be compensated or measured in money. Plaintiff has no adequate remedy at law. Pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §§ 502 and 503, Plaintiff is entitled to injunctive relief prohibiting Defendants from further infringing Plaintiff’s copyright, and ordering Defendants to destroy all copies of the Infringing Work made in violation of Plaintiff’s exclusive rights.

The case is Cool Gear Int’l, LLC v. Spencer Gifts, LLC et al., CV13-12550 WGY (D. Mass. 2013).