Fashion retailer in a pickle over selling artists’ designsPosted On: Jan. 12, 2017 9:57 AM CST
Women’s fashion retailer Francesca Collections Inc. may be forced to take the advice displayed on a quirky enamel pin of a bright green pickle that it had been selling online and in stores since the summer of 2016: Dill with it!
According to a lawsuit filed Friday by 11 artists against the retailer in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the retailer had been selling a number of whimsical pins featuring designs created by the artists without their permission or benefit.
The copyright lawsuit was accessed by Business Insurance at pinfringement.com, a site created by the plaintiffs. Two accessories suppliers were also named in the suit, which also accuses defendants of wire fraud, willful infringement and mail fraud.
The plaintiffs’ website features a display of the pins that were sold at Francesca’s, alongside photos of the artists’ original designs — designs the defendants accessed by creating fake accounts on craft-retail websites such as Etsy.com, purchasing the original products and copying them.
The pins include such designs as a pickle with the words “Dill with it!,” a pizza slice with the words “True Love” draped across, a black cat with the proclamation “Cat Lady,” a pink strawberry, a frosted and sprinkled donut and a banana split.
According to the lawsuit, “enamel pins are again one of the hottest trends in fashion.”
Plaintiffs are asking for $25,000 per violation, attorneys fees and punitive damages.
The pins are no longer visible on Francesca’s website.