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  • If the starting point for a designer is another designer’s work, it is a large hurdle for the defendant to prove there has not been an actionable reproduction
  • Significant damages can be awarded against an unsuccessful respondent in a copyright infringement case, including damages for lost profits, damages to reputation and additional damages
  • A finding of copyright infringement can be made even when there are significant differences between a copyright work and an infringing work
  • There is a clear difference in between drawing “inspiration” and copying, with the action of copying being an actionable offence

In a recent decision of the Federal Court of Australia, Seafolly Pty Limited v Fewstone Pty Ltd [2014] FCA 321, Justice Dodds-Streeton found that Fewstone Pty Ltd trading as City Beach Australia (City Beach) infringed copyright in three of Seafolly’s copyright works. City Beach was ordered to pay $250,333.06 in damages to Seafolly as a result of its infringing conduct. Seafolly alleged that City Beach had infringed copyright in three of its original copyright works, being the English Rose print, the Covent Garden print and the Senorita embroidery. These copyright works were each featured on garments released as part of the Seafolly Summer 2010 range. Seafolly alleged that the corresponding City Beach designs reproduced a substantial part of the relevant Seafolly works.

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