Complaint Asserts Copyright Infringement over Hardwood Floor Pattern on Vinyl Wallcovering


U.S. Vinyl Manufacturing Corporation (“USV”) initiated an action for copyright infringement on March 12, 2014, against Colour & Design, Inc. (“Colour”), National Wallcovering, Inc. (“Wallcovering”), Larry and Michael Bixler (“Bixlers”).

USV is a Texas corporation headquartered in LaFayette, Georgia.  The defendants are residents of Arkansas.  Both USV and Colour are designers of vinyl wallcovering products and Wallcovering is a distributor of those products.  The complaint refers to prior litigation in Walker County, Georgia, initiated by USV against Colour that was removed by Colour to the federal court.  The case was settled and, as a part of the settlement, USV received a transfer of all rights to numerous wallcovering patterns as a part of the settlement.  One of the assigned patterns, according to the complaint, was Copyright Registration No. VA-1-719-253 (referred to as the “TOBA” [horizontal display] or “TARA” [vertical display] pattern).  A review of the assignment document shows the trademark was also transferred, but the complaint does not assert trademark infringement.
The copyright complaint arises, according to USV, as a result of Colour’s continuing unauthorized sales of the TOBA pattern.
Below are images of two sample TARA patterns from the USV website and a sample accused TOBA pattern.
USV seeks lost profits, an injunction, and attorney fees for willful copyright infringement by defendants.  On March 20, eight days after filing its complaint, USV served a motion for a preliminary injunction.

The case is U.S. Vinyl Manufacturing Corporation v. Colour & Design, Inc., National Wallcovering, Inc., Larry Bixler, individually, and Michael Bixler, individually, No. 4:14-cv-00052-HLM, filed 03/12/14 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Rome Division, and assigned to U.S. District Judge Harold L. Murphy.


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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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