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Saturday, September 4, 2010, 6:05 AM

Persian Carpet Files Copyright Suit On "Ginko" Rug

On August 6, 2010, The Persian Carpet, Inc. (a Durham, North Carolina based company) filed a copyright infringement action in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina (Civil Action No. 1:10-cv-604) against Tashi Dhan Galaicha Udhyog (a business in Nepal) and Phurbu Nyima Sherpa (a principal of Tashi Dhan and a resident of New York) alleging infringement of its copyright in "The Ginko" rug.

The Persian Carpet is owner of Certificate of Registration No. VA 1-638-497. The complaint alleges that defendants sold the allegedly infringing rugs to L. & J.G. Stickley and "disseminated, and sold hundreds of rugs which are copies of The Ginko rug ...." The Persian Carpet's Ginko rug is shown below. Defendants have not been served as of the date of this posting.

The Dangers of Delivering Furniture

OK, so this isn't exactly about intellectual property law and furniture, but the story caught our attention.

On August 30, 2010, Furniture Today reported that two furniture delivery men were taken hostage in Chattanooga, Tennessee when making a delivery. Apparently, the delivery men were held at gunpoint by a 76-year old man angry about an error with the furniture delivered to his house. The man, Thomas Gunn (yes, that's his real name), took the delivery men to the Select Comfort store at Hamilton Place Mall in an attempt to resolve the error.

Law enforcement spotted the three men, including Mr. Gunn's handgun, as they entered the mall and Mr. Gunn was taken into custody. Mr. Gunn has been charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, and carrying an unlawful weapon.

Furniture Today's article may be found here.

Kickin' It Old School

On August 5, 2010, Schoolhouse Furniture, Inc. and Artco-Bell Corporation filed a patent infringement action against School Specialty, Inc. for the alleged infringement of U.S. Design Patent No. D566,979. Artco-Bell is the exclusive licensee of the '979 Patent. The patent covers a relatively simple chair. Comparisons of the figures from the '979 Patent and photographs of School Specialty's chairs are below. The '979 Patent is a good example of how design patents can protect furniture designs that are not subject to copyright protection.

Plaintiffs are represented by Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione.

Sotheby's Sues For Trademark Infringement

On August 2, 2010, world-famous international auction house Sotheby's filed an action in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Civil Action No. 1:10-cv-5752) against Paris Lighting, Inc., a New York corporation, and two New York City residents for trademark infringement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution, and unfair competition arising out of defendants' use of the SOTHESBY mark in connection with the sale of furniture and lighting.

SOTHESBY has several federal trademark registrations for furniture ("wood and metal furniture") and services related to furniture ("providing information via the global computer network in the field of furniture ...," "appraisal services for others for fine furniture ...," and "conservation and restoration services in the field of fine furniture ..."). Defendants are alleged to be operating a wholesale and retail furniture and lighting fixture store doing business as "European Crystal Chandelier" in New York, New York and using the SOTHESBY mark in connection with the sale of furniture and lighting. Defendants also filed a trademark application to register the trademark SOTHESBY in connection with various types of furniture.

Sotheby's is represented by Cowan Liebowitz & Latman. A Google Maps street view photo of defendants' store is below.

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