Recently, a few designers alerted me to a shirt that was just released on Hot Topic by the company Goodie Two Sleeves that resembled a shirt that I first made in early 2005, and released that summer as one of my first designs under my company SEIBEI.
I've been debating whether to make this a public matter or not - I've talked to friends, people in the industry, a lawyer, the heads of Goodie Two Sleeves, and, through proxy, higher-ups at Hot Topic, and I'm still not entirely sure.
Goodie Two Sleeves claims the resemblance is completely unintentional, and though offers were made, none of them included the removal of the shirt, which is all I wanted in the first place. Regardless of how the shirt came to be, its presence on the market hurts us. Since I don't have the time or the money to waste on a drawn-out legal battle, it seems like there's nothing I can do.
Anyway, it's not up to me to say whether this is a copy or not - though there are a number of similar elements, they may have come about independently of one another. What I want you to know, however, is that I was here first. The Sandwich Dinosaur is one of our oldest, best-selling designs, and it's right at the heart of SEIBEI, so having a similar item being distributed in a retailer that's in nearly every mall in America really hurts, and could potentially damage my business with the independent boutiques that carry us. SEIBEI has been all I've done for the past three years, and it's been a lot of hard work, a lot of setbacks, and a lot of late nights, so I don't want to have someone in a Goodie Two Sleeves Awesome Monster shirt see the Sandwich Dinosaur, ever, and think that mine came along second, regardless of the circumstance.
You can Digg this story here and help me get the word out.