Tag Archives: Copyright infringement

Average Joe SCOTUS: Unicolors Inc v. H&M Hennes & Mauritz LP

Unicolors Inc makes clothing decisions and shit. Like any company, they copyright their design. Back in 2011, they created a design they, with all the imagination they could muster, called EH101.’

Along comes H&M, a clothing company, who made their equally creatively named design called Xue Xu.

Both are seen here:

Having a hard time seeing a difference? Well, so was Unicolors. So they were like, “Hey, H&M, you copyright violating mother fuckers, that’s our design! What the fuck is wrong with you?”

H&M, apparently incapable of making a fair argument that this actually wasn’t a straight up copy, tried a more creative approach. H&M was like, “Hey, these assholes at Unicolors use a single copyright for 31 different designs, and that’s bullshit. One design gets one copyright.

A district court however, was unimpressed with this creative logic, telling H&M to shut their mouth now about this “31 designs” shit. They have a copyright, it’s valid unless the copyright office says it isn’t, and you’re a merry bag of assholes.

The district court stated that unless there’s an intent to defraud, the copyright can’t be invalidated, and as such, H&M doesn’t have license to violate it.

In steps those contrarian assholes at the ninth circuit who were like, “Wait a fucking minute. Where the fuck did you district court assholes read any ‘intent to defraud’ language in copyright law? You made that shit up. You know you assholes should’ve just referred the matter to the copyright nerds, and had them look into the potentially errant copyright.”

So now SCOTUS is charged with determining whether the district courts should have sent this shit to the Copyright nerds or just roll with it on their own.

In a 6:3 non-partisan decision, SCOTUS sided with Unicolor Inc. That whether the courts thinks the copyright is bullshit doesn’t mean a god damn thing. If these assholes have a valid copyright, then everyone else is beholden to it, unless the copyright office decides they fucked up, and pulls the copyright.

Justice Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch felt that Unicolors lied on their application to get them to even hear this shit. They were told they were going to hear a fraud case, not some jurisdictionalesque bullshit like this. So they’re pissed off they were misled.

Hear oral arguments and read about the case here.

Average Joe SCOTUS: Romag Fasteners v. Fossil

We’re all familiar with Fossil, I assume. They sell handbags and shit. Well, there’s a small Connecticut company, Romag Fasteners, that almost 20 years ago, entered into an agreement with Fossil to supply them with magnetic fasteners for their handbags.

Fossil has their shit made in China, because that’s what you do these days. Can we all agree China plays pretty fast and loose with intellectual property? They’re the fucking worst with that shit. Communists don’t believe in intellectual property, because they’re fucking commies who don’t believe you can own a fucking thing, certainly not intellectual property.

Anyway, there’s one licensed distributor of Romag fasteners in China, and the Fossil plant in China decided to pinch a few pennies, and have a company replicate the fastener cheaper, and use those instead, all apparently unbeknownst to Fossil HQ here in the US.

Some wily ass Romag employee saw the bags at Macy’s, with the Romag name on the fasteners, but that clearly wasn’t one of their fasteners. So they were like, “You motherfuckers!”

So clearly this is a trademark issue, and it’s wrong. The problem is, Fossil argues they were clueless. And they can’t be held liable for wrongdoing when they didn’t know they were doing anything wrong.

Romag of course is saying, you assholes made money off our name, so fucking pay us. Whether you know or not, doesn’t matter.

In a unanimous decision, SCOTUS was entirely unimpressed with Fossil’s argument, siding with Romag, that Fossil owes them money. Ignorance isn’t a fucking excuse.

Hear oral arguments and/or read about the case and the opinions here.