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 can be found here.




WHAT IS Fashionentlaw™: It is a law blog discussing hot topics in pop culture that arise primarily out of the fashion industry and intersects/ collides with the law. WHAT I DO: My name is Uduak Oduok and I am a California licensed attorney who helps creatives and business owners sleep better at night by protecting their creativity and reputation, securing their rights, and helping them with the monetization of their intellectual assets. WHO I WORK WITH: I have counseled a range of clients from musicians, models, actors, actresses, and designers, to diverse business owners in numerous areas of the law including contracts, business law, fashion and entertainment law, copyright, trademark, and intellectual property law. I bring over two decades of first-hand knowledge and experiences that are as diverse as they are deep in the fashion and entertainment industries (modeling, retail, production, public relations, journalism, and publishing). I am an attorney who “gets it” when it comes to resolving legal issues for the fashion and entertainment industries. INTERESTED IN TALKING TO ME ABOUT LEGAL REPRESENTATION? To arrange a consultation to discuss your case, contact me today at 916-361-6506 or email me directly at ( Full bio: Ms. Uduak Bio/ Twitter @uduaklaw

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