How Can Designers Protect Their Intellectual Property?

Interior Design and knockoff furniture made headlines in a recent New York Times article, most likely due to the celebrity attached to the controversy. The complaint filed by the Judd Foundation against interior design firm Clements Design, Inc. and the designer’s client, Kim Kardashian, alleges claims for trademark infringement, copyright infringement, unfair competition, false advertising, and false endorsement related to the sale and promotion of allegedly knockoff Donald Judd designed furniture.

Filed in California, the Judd Foundation brings its unfair competition claims primarily under 15 USC 1125(a) based upon Clements Design’s and Kardashian’s use of alleged Judd Design knock-off, publicized on Kardashian’s YouTube channel in August 2022.

For more information about this lawsuit, please check out this Business of Home podcast in which I’m honored to be mentioned. That podcast is available here.

Designers take note: the Judd Foundation (in-artfully) alleges the Designer’s use of a photograph of a Judd-designed table in the Designer’s proposal to Kardashian is copyright infringement leading to unfair competition.

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