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Vancouver retailer Aritzia convinces court to dismiss copyright infringement lawsuit

Toy company had alleged the Vancouver retailer in window displays copied the style of its product
These twisty sculptures used for Aritzia's 2023 spring marketing campaign were an alleged infringement of Tangle Inc. fidget toy designs. The case against Aritzia has since been dismissed.

Shares in Vancouver retailer Aritzia Inc. (TSX:ATZ) were up nearly two per cent this morning in the wake of news reports that the company convinced a California judge to dismiss a copyright-infringement lawsuit. 

American toy manufacturer Tangle Inc. last spring alleged that Aritzia copied designs for its fidget devices.

CBC reported on the judgement earlier today, even though Northern District of California Judge Jeffrey White dismissed the case in an October 18 decision.

Tangle had sought $150,000 for the alleged infringement, plus additional compensation for damages.

Aritzia, according to Tangle's claim, used artist Richard X. Zawitz' designs when it created shiny, multi-coloured, snake-like sculptures that twisted around clothing displays at stores, and appeared in social media marketing campaigns.

White wrote Tangle was trying to protect Zawitz' style and not a specific product – something that is not allowed under the law.

"Tangle claims copyright protection over an amorphous idea, effectively asking the court to pin jelly to the wall," White wrote.

"If Tangle chooses to replead, it needs to make clear what precisely it is alleging is subject to protection, including with reference to specific copyrighted works. The 'core' of its various copyrighted works will not do."

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