Fross Zelnick is defending client Aritzia, the North American clothing and accessories retailer, against claims of copyright and trade dress infringement filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by Tangle, Inc. In spring 2023, Aritzia had displayed metallic pink–colored decorative sculptures in its retail store windows. Tangle, a toy manufacturer and owner of nine registered copyrights in looped tubular sculptures, alleged that Aritzia’s window displays infringed Tangle’s copyright and trade dress rights. On behalf of Aritzia, we moved to dismiss, principally arguing that Tangle’s asserted scope of copyright was too broadly stated and, if allowed, would grant Tangle an impermissible monopoly over all looped tubular sculptures.
The Court granted Aritzia’s motion to dismiss without prejudice, finding that Tangle had not plausibly pled its copyright or trade dress claims. Among other findings, the Court held that Tangle’s articulated scope of copyright constituted unprotectable ideas.