How to Buy Fashion Prints Without Getting Sued

For Designers: 7 Steps to Avoid a Lawsuit When Buying Prints #Fashionlaw

In Fashion Law by FASHIONENTLAW™

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I saw the following article (excerpt provided) below tweeted by my Fashion Law colleague Charles Colman and thought it worth sharing with you all. It is an article authored by a fellow Fashion Law West Coast based colleague, Robert Ezra. It covers, concisely, some of the pitfalls to avoid when purchasing prints so you avoid the Kate Spade type copyright infringement lawsuits, among others. I also appreciate the candid discussions on the applicability of Copyright Law in a modern age. It is a conversation we continue to have in legal circles, as the business and technology climate evolves at a very rapid pace.

7 Steps to Avoid an Infringement Lawsuit

1. Confirm with the mill that it owns the copyright. Start with asking the mill if it has a copyright registration of the print it’s offering. If it does have a copyright registration and you rely on that registration, that may be sufficient to sidestep the willful-damages claim.

2. Ask the mill to see evidence of the original-work authorship to review the documents which are the source of the design. In some cases, the mill itself may have bought the design. If so, you may request a bill of sale. Make sure it includes a statement that the seller (the person from whom the mill bought the design) in fact had a copyright registration and is transferring that copyright to the buyer. The mill should also have an assignment of the copyright.

3. Get an indemnity from the mill that covers both you and anyone to whom you sell product. This indemnity can be included in your purchase-order documents. The signature of the mill on that particular order is always recommended. However, the indemnity of the mill may be fleeting. First, the mill may not have sufficient assets to cover the claims for damages. Second, they may be offshore suppliers, where jurisdiction of the federal court may be limited. If the mill is local or offshore, find out if the mill has its own insurance which covers you for alleged copyright-infringement claims.

The full story by Robert Ezra on Apparel News.net can be found here.

-Uduak
@uduaklaw

Photocredit: Behance.net

Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her firm’s fashion and entertainment law practice areas. Ms. Uduak has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts. She has also handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients including network television and licensing deals. Her work and contributions to the creative industry has been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA: ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also the author of Fashionentlaw™ and also has over two decades combined hands on industry experience in the creative industry which includes modeling, retail, fashion production, public relations, digital media, journalism and publishing. For further inquiries or if you are seeking legal representation, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). You may also follow her on twitter at @uduaklaw

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