From the Files of AttorneyScott – Barney’s Turns to the Blogosphere for the Perfect Ad

AttorneyAnnie here, bringing you another installment of possible content thievery from AttorneyScott’s files. Here we go.

You may have heard about the new designer shoe floor at Barney’s–men’s and women’s designer shoes on the same floor for the first time in Madison Avenue history! Or something like that. Barney’s has been heavily promoting this new shoe floor with a lovely marketing campaign called “Perfect Pairs,” complete with a “Perfect Pairs: Love Letters” campaign on the Barney’s blog and proceeds from pricey shoe sales going to the Human Rights Campaign and its Americans for Marriage Equality Program.  It’s actually quite adorable. And admirable.

What’s also adorable–but possibly not as admirable–is Barneys’ new Perfect Pairs logo, shown above. Linear illustration, two shoes back to back, a classic man’s shoe, a classic woman’s pump, set directly above a line of text, the choice of words.

And what’s this, above? This is the at least two-year-old logo of The Perfect Pairing–a street style Tumblr created by a New Yorker with an eye for fabulous footwear. Linear illustration, two shoes back to back, a classic man’s shoe, a classic woman’s pump, set directly above a line of text, the choice of words.  Maybe it’s pure coincidence?

If you have any questions or comments about the above matter, please feel free to email [email protected]

…Lost and Adrift in a Sea of Infringement?


Today’s entry arrives by sea, from my hometown of Long Beach, California. In this saga of maritime misappropriation, the putative pirate is a well-known action sports brand who is alleged to have fallen for copyright infringement hook, line, and sinker.

From a legal standpoint, it is important to remember that copyright law does not protect fonts, no matter how stylized the letters. Trademark law, however, will provide protection for the stylized depiction of a word if that stylized depiction is associated with a certain brand by consumers.

In this case, however, it appears that not only has the font been misappropriated, but also the composition and design elements of the work at issue, which may be subject to copyright protection. Is there enough taken to be a violation of the law or a violation of the artists’ moral code?



In April 2011, Port opened it’s doors in Long Beach, CA—an unorthodox group of minds, set out to deliver our lifestyle through our product, creativity and store. A clothing boutique, selling small and larger brands as well as Port branded product with its wildly popular and successful logo.

The popularity of the logo led to Port branded product being the best selling product for the store.

Port Long Beach

With the brand, store and recognition on the rise, Port was delivered a despicable blow, when surfboard and clothing manufacture …Lost released an all but familiar tee shirt graphic, first spotted on the online retailer Swell, in May 2012. Now a tank top version of the stolen art is on Pacific Sunwear’s site.

When put side-by-side, the gross neglect of trademark infringement is clear. The designer that presented this as an option should be ashamed of themselves. It is one thing to have reference, but to so blatantly rip off another’s work is a different story.

Port vs …Lost

The theft of intellectual property has left us baffled. Even more disgraceful is the fact that an established surf brand would steal from its own. The store is rooted in skate and surf culture. Everyone involved with Port is a steward of the action sports industry—the owners, art director, artists, employees and friends of the store. From shoe designers to marketing directors, we are all part of the industry we love.

It is so unfortunate that one of our own would stoop to a level so low, to blatantly steal and take potential profits from a small, independent shop.

It might be true that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, but this flattery is just a cloak for theft and brand confusion.



From the Files of AttorneyScott – C. Wonder Allegedly Flies Too Close to the Sun; is Charged with Infringement


From time to time I will post about a piping hot and fresh new case that our firm has been retained to handle, and has filed in Federal Court. The material that I will post will be from our files and/or the public record, and will reflect claims of copyright infringement against parties alleged to be content thieves or to be otherwise involved in the chain of distribution for infringing, fake, and/or counterfeit goods. Tune in for the first such installment below.


Z Paneva Studios v. C. Wonder, LLC; et al.

Some of you may already be familiar with the C. Wonder brand and its somewhat complicated story of coming into being. In short, C. Wonder is the newest project for Chris Burch, a man known for, amongst other things, his reported-to-be turbulent relationship with lifestyle brand magnate Tory Burch, a company with which he may or may not still have involvement.

Through C. Wonder, Burch sells home wares, accessories, and other odds and ends that remind some people very much of the items sold by T. Burch. In addition, one shiny new line of C. Wonder products is alleged to misappropriate certain works done by artist Zlatka Paneva at Z Paneva Studios. Ms. Paneva was not approached by C. Wonder or any of its agents or vendors prior to these pieces being sold by C. Wonder. Ms. Paneva’s pieces are the first and the third images below, while the items that were offered for sale by C. Wonder are the second and the fourth:

There are other examples, but I think you, kind reader, get the picture.

If you have any questions or comments about the above matter, please feel free to email me at [email protected]


Probiotic Plagiarism?


A unique and progressive music video is created and published to the world. Immediately, this video is available to viewers in North America, Europe, Asia, basically anywhere with an internet connection. One of these viewers, in one of these geographic locales, (apparently) decides to use major elements of that video in his or her own work, which (apparently) is advertising.

It’s important to note that the type of access described above is one factor that is driving the increasing levels of copyright infringement – anyone, anywhere can access copyrighted material immediately and on a whim, and can then knock it off in the comfort of their own home or secret lab or what-have-you.  Have the Finnish yoghurt-slingers below run afoul of the law?



Having been a follower of YTWWN for years it’s strange and depressing to find myself able to post on it with perhaps one of the worst thefts I’ve seen. I would love to hear any defense from anyone involved on how this wasn’t plagiarism but really can’t imagine any justification.

So, in January I made Graham Coxon’s video for his song “What’ll it Take”, it was an original idea by me – with some elements based on an even older video of mine from 4 years ago. It was a small budget video and I did all the post myself, it was a real labour of love.

Here’s my video:

Graham Coxon “What’ll It Take” // DIR: Ninian Doff from Ninian Doff on Vimeo.

Kennel Helsinki made this commercial last month directed by Miikka Lommi for a yoghurt called “Jacky Duetto”. It not only stole every technique (cut up fan footage forming a new person, looping footage to extend limbs, squares of footage then rising into the sky) but even camera angles (e.g multiple footage person being obscured by lamppost/tree, seeing ball out of high rise window):

Jacky Duetto from Kennel Helsinki on Vimeo.

Kennel Helsinki, Miikka Lommi, Jack Duetto or the ad agency have never been in contact with me ever. I only found out about this when someone happened to see it on TV whilst on holiday in Finland and tweeted it to me!

Have a Heart, Hot Topic!


Copyright infringement cases relating to jewelry are on the rise, with retailers attempting to make an extra buck by having cheaper knock-offs made of trendy pieces they see in boutiques, magazines, or around town, and then selling those copies to the public. The sine qua non in such a case is substantial similarity, as any attorney with brains can tell you. Mmmmm, brains.


update: Hot Topic has pulled their necklaces from online and apparently from sales floors while they “investigate”


I’d love some outside opinions on this one. I’ve been making these I Heart Brains Best Friends Necklace Sets since 2010. Soon after posting them they were featured in a variety of different places online and I ended up with orders my two hands couldn’t keep up with. This is the first green set I sold:

and hot topics recent version of the same thing:

The part that gets me the most is there are many ways to make brains and the way I’ve specifically chosen to do them isn’t the same as a real brains texture. It’s a technique I use because of my medium of polymer clay, which is not the medium they’ve used. It feels like a copy to me and even gave my guts a churnin’ once I stumbled on them. After contacting hot topic and getting no response, I was wondering what others might think

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