Independent artists and small-scale accessory designers may be flattered when a world-renowned fashion designer includes their pieces in a new collection. Such recognition and exposure could be just the nudge that turns a cottage industry into a corporation. However, a small group of artists is not flattered, especially when the famous designer allegedly gave no credit to the true designer of the items he included in his newly-revealed collection. The artists are now trying to regain control of their designs through intellectual property litigation in New York civil court.
Hollywood is careful to protect itself from pirating and other illegal uses of its products. However, it may seem to some in New York and elsewhere that the industry does not play by the same rules. While movie studios may be quick to accuse someone of stealing copyrighted materials, apparently, they do not expect intellectual property litigation when they use allegedly stolen technology. One man is about to take on some Goliaths in the industry to protect his intellectual property.
For some in New York, it takes only the turning of the calendar page to October to begin preparations for Halloween. Cobwebs go up in trees, and pumpkins are arranged on the porch. Finally, the only thing left to do is to procure the perfect costume. Rather than becoming a goblin or Iron Man, some will purchase a costume to transform themselves into the funniest of fruits, the banana. However, banana costumes are currently the center of intellectual property litigation.
Those in New York who enjoyed the antics of Pepe the Frog may have mourned the cartoon character's death earlier this year. The laid back, self-indulgent amphibian gained a cult following after artist Matt Furie introduced him in an e-zine in 2005. For nearly 10 years, Furie and his frog enjoyed popularity among fans whose philosophies mirrored those of the lazy, hedonistic character. However, recently the artist turned to intellectual property litigation when someone attempted to use his creation for nefarious purposes.
Richard Prince has a reputation for pushing the limits. The photographer and artist has raised the ire of other artists for nearly 40 years by appropriating their work, re-imagining it and presenting it to the New York public as his own original art. It is precisely this modus operandi that has him facing intellectual property litigation in federal court.