Intellectual Property Keyed to Merges
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Samara Brothers, Inc.
Samara Brothers, Inc. (Samara) (Plaintiff) designs and manufacturers children’s clothing, with its main product being spring and summer one-piece seersucker clothes. Various stores sell this line of clothes. Wal-Mart Stores (Defendant) is one of the largest and most well-known retail stores in the United States. Defendant contracted with Judy-Philippine, Inc. (J-P), one of its suppliers, to manufacture a line of spring and summer children’s clothes, sending J-P photographs of various garments of Plaintiff’s upon which J-P was to base the clothes for Defendant. J-P then copied, with minor changes, 16 of Plaintiff’s garments, many of which contained elements that were copyrighted. Wal-Mart (Defendant) sold J-P’s garments and earned over $1.5 million in gross profits from those sales. Plaintiff sent cease-and-desist letters to Defendant, finally suing for copyright infringement. A jury found for Plaintiff on all its claims, and the court of appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
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