I don’t usually post press releases, but I thought this one was somewhat interesting. I have mixed feelings. On one side, I recognize American Apparel’s right to not have people sell unembellished clothing articles at wholesale prices. However, my more self-centered side, which has benefited from wholesale American Apparel gear in the past, laments that he can no longer find stuff for cheap, because American Apparel’s prices can be somewhat high. Oh well, read about it below. What are your thoughts on the matter? Shoot me a comment (if you care).
American Apparel Sues Violators of Intellectual Property Rights, Wholesale Policy,
LOS ANGELES — American Apparel (Amex: APP), the vertically integrated clothing manufacturer based in downtown Los Angeles, has recently filed lawsuits against resellers who have violated the company’s intellectual property rights and wholesale policy by selling unembellished blank American Apparel garments. The company plans to file further suits against other noncompliant individuals and companies as well.
Since opening its first retail stores in 2003, American Apparel has privately intervened in situations where wholesale customers are reselling its products on the open market. These resellers often infringe upon American Apparel’s intellectual property rights by using copyrighted photographs and artwork to sell its products in violation of the company’s terms and conditions, which clearly prohibit the resale of blank American Apparel products.
“What some customers choose to ignore is that intellectual property is just that: property. The law prohibits this type of theft, regardless of intention, knowledge or profit,” said Joyce Crucillo, chief litigation counsel for American Apparel.
American Apparel is now taking aggressive steps to protect its intellectual property, brand and business by enforcing its resale policy, which allows buyers to resell garments only after altering or screenprinting. On January 14, 2010, the company initiated a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against a former online retailer of American Apparel product, NYCBlanks.com, for copyright infringement, trademark infringement, unfair competition and false advertising, whereby it sought in excess of $1,000,000 in damages as well as injunctive relief. The case recently settled, with NYCBlanks.com admitting liability and agreeing to cease the resale of American Apparel product and pay a sizeable amount to resolve the issue.