Target, Topson Downs Beat Copyright Infringement Claim

— January 21, 2013

Topson Downs of California, Inc. and Target Corporation recently prevailed against Meridian Textiles Inc.'s claims of copyright infringement of four fabric designs.

Meridian filed a motion for summary judgment on its claims, which was opposed. Finding that the defendants overcame the presumption of valid copyright ownership afforded by an issued copyright registration, Judge R. Gary Klausner of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California agreed that one design (a zebra stripe pattern) was not entitled to copyright protection as it merely reflected zebra stripes as they occur in nature and thus ordered the copyright office to invalidate that registration. The court further found no infringement of the other three asserted designs (an animal print, a burnout pattern and a lace design).

Significantly, on the court's own initiative based on the substantial evidence provided by law firm Ezra Brutzkus Gubner LLP on the defendants' behalf, Judge Klausner granted summary judgment in defendants' favor. In this case, EBG partners Jeffrey Kobulnick and Mark Brutzkus argued against the validity of the asserted copyright registrations and provided the court with substantial evidence to defeat Meridian Textiles' infringement claims.

"We are extremely happy with Judge Klausner's ruling as this is a tremendous win not only for Topson and Target, but for many other manufacturers, distributors and retailers in the apparel industry," said Brutzkus.

Topson Downs is a global apparel manufacturing company. Target Corporation is the second-largest discount retailer in the United States. Ezra Brutzkus Gubner, well known in the Apparel & Fashion Industry, has a strong litigation practice defending against claims of copyright infringement of fabric designs.

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