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Vman
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Handbags
« on: Dec 21st, 2003, 9:44am »
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I was recently contacted by a lawyer who said he is representing a company he says we infringed on. These handbags while looking somewhat similar have no logos, no names and the patterns while similar are not the same. Does this mean I am infringing on the pattern they copyright ?
 
He is sending a Non-Litigation Settlement Agreement which I guess means he is not sueing but this also makes me think I'm really not doing anything wrong and he is trying to get something out of me.
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Re: Handbags
« Reply #1 on: Dec 21st, 2003, 10:23am »
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Copyright is not a patent. Copyright does not preclude independant creation. DID you copy from their design? Can they convince a court that you did even if you didn't? Two issues: how alike are the designs and did you have opportunity to copy? Did either party register their designs?
 
 
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Vman
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Re: Handbags
« Reply #2 on: Dec 21st, 2003, 11:04am »
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I suppose the manufacturer was trying to make them look similar to a particular designer.
 
I have spoken to a couple of lawyer friends who do not work in this area but have some knowledge. I get conflicting stories. They seem to think the bags are legal however there case is based on confusing the consumer.  
 
If I state that they are not designer bags on the site, never use names and the patterns are not the copyrighted pattern wouldn't I be ok.  I don't feel I am confusing the consumer. Confusing them would be making them believe they were real designer bags.
 
If they were sure themselves wouldn't they just sue me rather then looking for a Non-Litigation Settlement.
 
I am a small company who has been on the brink of bankruptcy for the last 3 years as many companies have been these days. I don't want trouble but either way it looks like a big loss for me.  
 
I am almost tempted to say "sue me" as I will probably be going bankrupt anyway.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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M. Arthur Auslander
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Re: Handbags
« Reply #3 on: Dec 21st, 2003, 11:10am »
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Dear Vman,
On the facts given it is hard to judge. If you are selling replicas you may be getting off lightly as long as you stop. The agreement ought to be understood.
 
M. Arthur Auslander  
Auslander & Thomas-Intellectual Property Law Since 1909
3008 Johnson Ave., New York, NY 10463
7185430266, aus@auslander.com
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Vman
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Re: Handbags
« Reply #4 on: Dec 21st, 2003, 11:23am »
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I haven't gotten the agreement yet so I can't really say. I was just shaken up a bit because they did tell me to stop selling the bags which we did. Being a small guy I couldn't take the chance either. Then they sent me a letter saying they would be sending the Non-Litigation Settlement which gets me nervous.
 
I can't afford it, I am struggling to get the company in the black again.
 
If this is an amount I can't afford would it be in my best interest to just say "sue me" as I will probably be going bankrupt anyway. This is of course if the amount is something I can't handle.
 
I just feel he was looking for money right from the beginning as I did everything he asked yet he still wants a settlement.  
 
He also is from an independent firm and not the designer company.
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