9 November 2017Copyright

Artists pin copyright claim on Marc Jacobs

Fashion brand Marc Jacobs has been accused of copying pins designed by independent artists in the Marc Jacobs “Resort 2017 collection”.

The collection, released in June 2016, featured a 1980s-90s nostalgia theme centred around pins and patches, according to claim (pdf) filed at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Tuesday, November 7.

Artists Laser Kitten, Katie Thierjung and Wildflower + Co claimed that “unfortunately, Marc Jacobs’ Resort 2017 collection was not original”, adding that the pins and patches were “flagrant, unlawful copies of plaintiffs’ popular original pins and patches”.

Marc Jacobs allegedly sold these copies as standalone products and as versions of enamel pins in the form of earrings and other jewellery, and sold a range of clothing, bags and accessories that featured the pins and patches.

The plaintiffs said that they had sent Marc Jacobs a cease-and-desist letter in January 2017, but that the brand continued to sell its collection “unabated” and created additional infringing products which were incorporated into the “Spring 2017 collection”.

Wildflower claimed that its “ Rose Champagne Patch”, consisting of a rose-coloured bottle of champagne, had been copied, while Laser Kitten alleged that its “ Pink Cop Car” pin had been copied.

Marc Jacobs is also accused of infringing Katie Thierjung’s “Parrot Pin”, the “ Highball Pin”, and the “ Margarita Pin”.

“Additionally, even as of the filing of this complaint, plaintiffs are discovering new infringing products and there may be even more infringing products of which plaintiffs are not aware,” said the suit.

The artists claimed that Marc Jacobs had not attempted to contact them for a licence and that the brand had “raided” their IP to create its collections.

They also claimed that Marc Jacobs intentionally replaced their copyright management information with its own.

The artists are seeking damages, disgorgement of profits, $25,000 per alleged violation, and a permanent injunction.

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More on this story

6 March 2018   British fashion brand Vivienne Westwood has apologised for using graphics created by two designers.
2 January 2019   A company representing former American rock band Nirvana is suing Marc Jacobs International for copyright infringement over its “Bootleg Redux Grunge” clothing range.
4 February 2020   Independent design studio Wildflower + Co has accused fashion brand Steve Madden of creating more than 100 different products, including handbags, which infringe its copyright for four embroidered patches.