Lewis & Lin obtained a dismissal of a federal lawsuit against our client alleging copyright violations.
The case was filed in federal court in California by the registered copyright owner of two original textile print artworks. Plaintiff claimed that Lewis & Lin’s client Dani II Inc.–owner of the KAS New York fashion label–distributed clothing that infringed on plaintiff’s designs to Neiman Marcus stores for sale nationwide.
At the inception of the case, Lewis & Lin filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, arguing that Dani II did not possess minimum contacts with California, and therefore maintaining the suit there would violate its due process rights.
Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles agreed. In a written opinion, the court ruled that plaintiff “failed to carry its burden to contravene” Dani II’s sworn statement supporting its position that general jurisdiction should not lie in California.
Regarding plaintiff’s argument for specific jurisdiction, the court agreed with Lewis & Lin on all three parts of the 9th Circuit’s Schwarzenegger test. The test requires that plaintiff show (1) the non-resident defendant purposefully directed its activities with the forum state, (2) the plaintiff’s claim arises out of the defendant’s forum-related activities, and (3) the exercise of jurisdiction comports with fair play and substantial justice. As the court ruled: “even assuming that Dani II knew that goods shipped to Neiman Marcus might have eventually ended up in California, it is not enough that the defendant might have predicted that its goods will reach the forum State.” The court further stated that plaintiff “only provided speculative and conclusory statements to establish Dani II’s contacts with California [and] plaintiff’s naked assertion cannot suffice absent further factual enhancement.”
Accordingly, the court granted Lewis & Lin’s motion to dismiss. The case is Star Fabrics, Inc. v. Neiman Marcus Group LLC et al., No. 14-CV-7170 (C.D. Cal.).
On the heels of New York Fashion Week (#NYFW), Lewis & Lin achieved a victory for our client, Kirat Anand, in a case involving a fashion designer’s liability for alleged copyright infringement. Lewis & Lin’s client, Mr. Anand is the founder and lead designer for the KAS NEW YORK™ fashion label, owned by Dani II, Inc.
Bonita Fabrics, Inc. obtained a default judgment in California against our client, and sought to enforce that judgment in New York. Lewis & Lin filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the original California court lacked personal jurisdiction over Mr. Anand because he did not personally conduct any business in California, nor did he or Dani II sell the allegedly infringing garments, or any garments, in California. Judge Robert Sweet of the Southern District of New York agreed with Lewis & Lin on all points and dismissed the case in its entirety.
Copyright litigation is an unfortunate cost of doing business in the fashion industry, as are the tactics employed by lawyers who make a living bringing dubious infringement suits. It is even more unfortunate when such lawyers contact or involve customers in their attempts to extract exorbitant settlement payments.
The decision in the case, Bonita Fabrics, Inc. v. Kirat Anand, an individual, dba KAS New York, 12 Misc. 408 (S.D.N.Y.), can be accessed here.
About Lewis & Lin, LLC:
Lewis & Lin, LLC is an Internet and Intellectual Property law firm based in Brooklyn, New York. The firm’s highly experienced legal team has helped clients worldwide secure their IP rights, as well as anticipate and resolve a diverse range of IP issues. Lewis & Lin’s particular expertise lies in Internet transactions and disputes, including domain name licensing and sale agreements, domain name hijacking claims, Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) disputes, and Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) litigation. The team also expertly handles licensing agreements, website user agreements, service agreements and privacy policies, as well as Internet-related trademark and copyright litigation. For further information, visit www.ilawco.com.