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Art dispute sparks intellectual property lawsuit in Texas

| May 1, 2021 | Intellectual Property |

In Texas and across the United States, people who rely on creativity and innovation to make a living must be aware of the need for copyright protection. If they do not ensure their work is adequately shielded, it can cost them immeasurably and even ruin their chance at success. This is especially true when creating artwork. If other entities take someone’s art and use it without permission or compensation, there are legal steps to take to hold them accountable. Intellectual property can be confusing and if there are concerns that ideas have been stolen or a person or business wants to be proactive in getting a copyright, it is wise to have legal assistance.

Companies in New York and Houston accused of copyright infringement

A lawsuit has been filed in Texas alleging that furniture companies in Houston and New York infringed on another company’s copyright. The company claiming to have been wronged allows customers to take images next to specially designed backdrops. It claims that the same artist who created its backdrops was hired by one of the furniture companies for the same purpose. The owners – the parents of the founder who unfortunately died – say their rights were infringed upon. The two companies being sued have not made any comment.

The complaining company has five works that have been copyrighted. The registrations were made in 2019. Because the furniture company defendants used the same artist and the creations are essentially the same in every way with the public being unable to differentiate them, it is said to be a legal violation. An attempt was made to settle the dispute out of court, but it was ineffective.

Copyright protection may require legal assistance

Registration is not needed to protect a copyright. There are five categories in which copyright law is relevant: literature and film; music; architecture; artwork; and computer software. Artwork is one of the most complicated because it is so difficult to pinpoint exactly where an original idea emanated from and whether others might have inspired it. Still, if it is in the same industry and there is a belief that an idea was stolen, it is important to have legal assistance to achieve justice. Intellectual property litigation might be necessary. Consulting with experienced professionals in copyrights can be helpful.