Plaintiff For Cary, N.C.-Based Intellectual Property Law Firm Awarded More Than $300,000 In Damages From Supplier Of Rugs Infringing On Its Copyright
CARY, N.C. – Coats & Bennett, PLLC, an intellectual property law firm, has announced that Larry Coats, a registered patent attorney and senior member, has won a default judgment of copyright infringement for his client, The Persian Carpet, Inc., of Durham, N.C., against Tashi Dhan Galaicha Udhyog (“Tashi Dhan”), and its principal, Phurbu Nyima Sherpa, for supplying and selling nearly $400,000 worth of rugs almost identical to The Ginkgo, a original rug design created by Persian Carpet, in a federal court ruling. The Middle District of North Carolina ruled that Tashi Dhan and Sherpa, both of whom have offices in Nepal and New York City, must pay $302,206 in damages and $5,992 in attorneys’ fees and costs to Persian Carpet for the unauthorized imitation and sale of the latter’s design. Tashi Dhan and Sherpa failed to respond to Persian Carpet’s complaint of copyright infringement after it learned of the imitation in 2009, which led the court to enter a default judgment.
Another supplier of the imitation rugs based in Nepal and New York City, Royal Intercontinental Inc., reached an agreeable settlement with Persian Carpet prior to the decision and represented that they sold about $85,000 in imitation rugs, leaving just more than $300,000 worth of copyright infringing rugs provided by Tashi Dhan. The court ruled since Tashi Dhan had not provided proof of its deductible expenses and profits not attributed to the infringement, the defendants must pay that latter gross revenue amount to Persian Carpet, as well as court costs.
“Since Persian Carpet was able to prove a sum certain through affidavit against the defendants who had defaulted by failure to appear, we believe that the court’s decision in the company’s favor and ruling for it to receive more than $300,000 in damages were appropriate,” said Karen S. Boardman, litigation & eDiscovery manager for Coats & Bennett. “This judgment reflects the seriousness of the charges against Tashi Dhan and Mr. Sherpa and will make them and other suppliers realize the significant consequences that can result if they ignore or refuse to follow copyright laws in order to profit more for themselves.”