According to the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the most recent copyright infringement case against Urban Outfitters and other retailers was settled for $416,000 after trial in the Central District of California (Not-fun fact: 26 percent of the 2,500 U.S. federal copyright cases filed in 2015 took place in federal court in Los Angeles - more than New York or elsewhere). Between 2011 and 2015, 417 cases were brought in Los Angeles by four local printers, all represented by one law firm.
Through May of 2016, one printer has filed 34 lawsuits, on pace to match the 80 filed last year, and ahead of the 2014 pace when 56 were filed — one per week. Attorneys’ fees can typically run $200,000 - $400,000 on top of any award. In other words, the pendulum has swung very far from levels of common sense, so be prepared.
What you can do
Here are some things to consider:
*This article originally appeared in a newsletter of the California Fashion Association.
Rich Reinis is a litigator and corporate strategist who represents clients from diverse industries, including fashion and manufacturing. He is a founding member of the California Fashion Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 282-9411.