Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Shopping In Rajasthan

The leather of work of Rajasthan is interestingly a joint effort of the local men and women. While the men do the tanning, cutting and stitching, the women do the embroidery and ornamentation.
The case of Coach Leatherware Company, Inc. versus ANNTAYLOR, Inc. and three other plaintiffs was settled in the District Court of New York. Filed in November of 1990 and then appealed at a later time, the case was one of the first publicized cases regarding copyright and piracy. Though the case was considered to be an argument of knockoffs and "confusion in the marketplace," the case is now more important than at its time of filing. The court document claims that Coach "commenced this action for trademark infringement and statutory and common law unfair competition" which now would be grounds for a suit on copyright infringment as the items that were claimed to have been infringed upon are not currently covered by trademark protection. The case cites many other cases of different fashion infringement suits as well as the copyright acts and the Lanham act.
The case describes the articles that were copied or "knocked-off" in detail. Although two aspects were discussed that were trademarked and protected, the name tags that say "Coach" and a series of brass fastenings also trademarked to Coach, many other things that company was suing for were not protected by trademark. Coach claims that "It's not a Coach Bag without a Coach tag." Coach wanted reimbursement for copies of bag shape, handle shape, colors, and style. Because the case was heard withiout evidence as both sides
agreed to introduce the case without exhibits, the defendants were both sure and unsure of their place as copyright offenders. Copyright law was not widely argued at this time for this case, however, it is obvious after reading the case that copyright law protection for fashion and design would have been supportive of argument.
This case is an excellent piece of supportive evidence for my thesis. The case, which defends piracy in fashion design, cites other important cases as well as U.S. Copyright office material and the Copyright Act of 1976, as wel as the Lanham Act. By including these resources, the case is pliable and easy to understand. It is also very applicable to my argument in that it ultimately agrees that the line is blurry between what can be considered public domain and shared versus artistic creativity and genuiness of design.

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