Fashion Law: J. Crew and Walmart in Copyright Battle
An unlikely duo, J. Crew and Wal-Mart, are now both entwined in a copyright lawsuit. J. Crew, the upscale prep retailer filed suit in New York district court last week against discount mogul Wal-Mart for copyright infringement on a selection of necklaces sold by the clothing and apparel retailer.
According to the lawsuit, J. Crew alleges that Wal-Mart made blatant copies of the design of six of their necklaces that were sold between 2012 and 2013 at a heavily discounted rate; the statement pieces at J. Crew ranged from $168 to $39.50 while Wal-Mart’s alternative sold the same accessories for a mere $25, with some pieces dipping as low as $5. Preceding the lawsuit J. Crew sent Wal-Mart a cease-and-desist letter to prevent them from selling any more copied necklaces.
Typically, items considered every-day fashion’, such as clothing, footwear and accessories are not granted protection under copyright law; however, high-end jewelry, like the J. Crew necklaces at hand, are granted protection.by