Furniture manufacturer wins seven-figure lawsuit

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

A major furniture designer and manufacturer won a lawsuit last week against a company they claim imported and distributed unauthorized copies of some of their proprietary furniture designs. The copyright infringement case named one major retailer, and a few other defendants in the lawsuit. Although the furniture manufacturer would not release the exact figure of the award, they did claim that it was a seven-figure settlement.

The case was filed late last year in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida. The lawsuit alleged that several designs were stolen and copied without the manufacturer’s consent, including a dining table, bed, and bookcase. Authorities from the company cited the lawsuit as yet another example of the manufacturer’s dedication to ending copyright infringement of their products, and should serve as a warning to others that might attempt the same thing.

One representative from the manufacturer claimed that the alleged theft of their furniture designs was only one major example of a history of design “copycats” that attempted to illegally sell bootleg copies of their furniture on sites like eBay. The company also soon issued a statement warning customers of the dangers inherent in purchasing the company’s furniture online. According to the statement, the copied furniture was not likely to follow the same exacting standards, and could be inexpensive, low-quality duplicates.

Representatives from the furniture manufacturer have vowed to continue enforcing copyright and trademark rights on the company’s furniture, and wish to maintain that exclusivity that the company offers customers who purchase their products.

Source: Furniture Today “Habersham wins damages in copyright infringement case,” Thomas Russell, Oct. 5, 2011