Los Angeles, CA – On February 15, 2008, Star Fabrics, Inc. commenced copyright litigation in California Central District Court over textile/fabric design copyrights, which apparel bearing the design is allegedly sold at Ross department stores and were manufactured by US Textile Printing, Inc. and Uno Clothing, Inc. Star Fabrics claims to have purchased all rights in the design which it then transferred to fabric. Star Fabrics registered the design with the U.S. Copyright Office and received Copyright Registration No. VA 1-418-127.
The complaint alleges that Plaintiff sent cease and desist letters to all of the defendants – who refused to stop selling the garments and/or fabric. As a result, Star Fabrics’ lawsuit makes a claim for copyright infringement 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq. It also adds a second claim for vicarious and/or contributory copyright infringement, alleging that defendants “knowingly induced, participated, aided and abetted in and resultantly profited from the illegal reproduction, importation, purchase and distribution and/or sales of product featuring” the copyrighted design.
PRACTICE NOTE: Although copyright laws currently protect patterns and designs printed on or stitched into the fabric, copyright protection is not currently available to protect fashion designs themselves (i.e. the cut, style, or dimensions of clothing). However, the Design Piracy Prohibition Act (H.R. 5055) bill is currently pending in congress that, if enacted into law, will provide three years of protection for the fashion design if certain conditions are met. Click Here To Read About The Bill.