Guess Sued By Famed Street Artists For Tagging Clothing With Their Work
By Mikelle Leow, 07 Feb 2024
Photo 288235702 © Adam Nowak | Dreamstime.com
In a colorful clash, two renowned street artists have taken legal action against fashion giants Guess and Macy’s. The brother of the late Sean Griffin, known as Nekst, and Robin Ronn, who goes by Bates, have initiated a lawsuit against the retail behemoth and the department store giant over allegations of copyright infringement, centering around a T-shirt collection that the creatives claim misappropriates their vibrant art.
Filed in the US District Court in Los Angeles on January 12, the dispute involves an apparel lineup that the plaintiffs argue unlawfully sports their distinctive tags and graffiti styles. This move, they contend, not only violates their copyright but also falsely suggests a collaboration or an endorsement of Guess’s products, potentially diluting their street-earned credibility and “urban cool.”
For the second time in recent memory, street artists have accused the clothing brand Guess of swiping their intellectual property, this time for a line of “graffiti inspired” clothing. https://t.co/Jo9jiy6OI8February 6, 2024
Patrick Griffin, acting as the successor in interest for his brother Sean Griffin (NEKST), who passed away in 2012, and Robin Ronn (BATES) are both named plaintiffs in this case. They argue that their tags are not merely decorative elements but serve as signatures that identify their work in the public domain, making their unauthorized use a clear violation of their rights and a misleading practice to the consumers.
The artists’ legal representatives have laid out a series of allegations against Guess and Macy’s, including unfair competition and false endorsement under the federal Lanham Act, copyright infringement, and violations of California’s statutory and common law rights of publicity, among others.
Graffiti artist Banksy is basically encouraging his followers to shoplift the GUESS on Regent Street after they used his artwork without permission ð pic.twitter.com/WWNXu3wwRH— Georgia Coan (@georgia_coan) November 18, 2022
The case echoes a rather recent controversy involving the elusive street artist Banksy, who also accused Guess of using his artwork without consent.
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