Intellectual Property Law

New Matter SPRING 2022, VOLUME 47, EDITION 1


Anne-Marie Dao
Sheppard Mullin

Happy New Year! As we enter our third year of the pandemic, I hope that everyone is staying safe. This issue’s Ninth Circuit Report covers a case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court that originated in the Ninth Circuit: Unicolors, Inc. v. H&M Hennes & Mauritz, LP. In Unicolors, the Supreme Court is considering an intra-circuit conflict on the application of a federal statute.


Unicolors, Inc. ("Unicolors") alleges that a design it created in 2011 is similar to a design printed on garments that H&M Hennes & Mauritz L.P. ("H&M") began selling in 2015. "The heart of this case is the factual issue whether H&M’s garments bear infringing copies of Unicolors’s 2011 design. Presented with that question, a jury reached a verdict in favor of Unicolors, finding the two works at least substantially similar."1 In so finding, the jury awarded Unicolors $817,920 in damages and $28,800 in lost profits. The district court later granted attorneys’ fees and costs in the amounts of $508,709.20 and $5,856.27.

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