3 May 2018Copyright

Nicki Minaj hit with copyright infringement claim over shirt design

US rap star Nicki Minaj has been hit with a copyright infringement claim (pdf) over her t-shirt design.

Isiah Eugene Simon filed the claim, which is also against Universal Music Group and “1-10 John Does”, at the US District Court for the Central District of California on Tuesday, May 1.

Simon is a California-based artist who created the design of an inverted heart made up of a woman’s chest and red bikini. The inverted heart is used in designs representing the word “love”.

For example, one of Simon’s shirts reads: “I love Venice Beach”, with the inverted heart replacing the word “love”.

The plaintiff received registration from the US Copyright Office in February 2015 for the design. The copyright registration number is VA 1-952-325.

According to Simon’s claim, the defendants “brazenly stole plaintiff’s heart design and affixed it to shirts that promote Minaj”.

The allegedly infringing shirts contain the text: “I love Nicki”. As with Simon’s design, the word “love” is replaced by an inverted heart depicting a woman’s chest in a red bikini.

In his claim, Simon alleged that the defendants “had access to” his heart design before creating the infringing shirts.

The plaintiff asked that the court impound all remaining infringing shirts in possession of the defendants.

He also requested a permanent injunction preventing any future infringement of his heart design, and for an award of damages and attorneys’ fees.

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