The United States District Court of the Southern District of New York granted Lowenstein Sandler’s motion to dismiss a complaint filed against Lowenstein client M.J.C.L.K., LLC (d/b/a “Badgley Mischka”) that alleged copyright infringement in regard to a lace design.
Plaintiff Klauber Brothers originally claimed that Badgley Mischka, Saks, and 10 Doe defendants “created, sold, manufactured, caused to be manufactured, imported and/or distributed fabric and/or products incorporating fabric that bears artwork identical to or substantially similar to” their own lace patterns.
In granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss, the Court ruled that Klauber failed to adequately allege facts sufficient to sustain their claims. Klauber’s original and then amended complaint did not plead facts sufficient to establish either that access to the designs in question by defendants was plausible, nor that there was a striking similarity between the plaintiff’s and defendants’ designs. Klauber also failed to meet the standard for “widespread dissemination” necessary to establish a reasonable probability that defendants might have ever encountered the design in question.
Klauber’s claims for contributory and vicarious liability also failed because Klauber did not adequately allege primary infringement by defendants or any third party.
David Leit, who led the defense, said: “The Court correctly held that copyright infringement requires access to the original work plus substantial similarity. The Court agreed with us that Klauber had not pled facts sufficient to establish that access was plausible, and it essentially adopted our arguments in finding no striking similarity.”
In addition to Leit, the Lowenstein team included Andrew Dubin.
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