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Halloween, bananas and copyright infringement

Companies who do the work to come up with designs expect that they will be able to be the one to profit off of the design. The Halloween holiday is one that is a major boost for retailers and suppliers. This year, it is expected that Americans will spend upwards of $3.4 billion on costumes for Halloween.

A recent lawsuit by one company, Rasta Imposta, claims that big box retailer Kmart and its parent company Sears Holdings Corp. infringed upon a copyright. The Totally Ghoul banana costume for men is the item in question.

The issue started last week when Kmart decided not to offer humorous costumes from Rasta Imposta. Instead, the mass merchant reportedly found another supplier for these types of costumes.

The Totally Ghoul banana costume is reported as being a knockoff of the Banana Design that is copyrighted to the Rasta Imposta company. The complaint, which was filed in a U.S. District Court, lists the similarities of the costume, including the shape, line placement, banana end placement, cut out holes and method of wear.

Rasta Imposta claims that its reputation has suffered irreparable harm because of Kmart. The company also notes that it has suffered financial harm deemed as significant.

No matter how simple or complex a design, the copyright holder has a right to protect that design. This is often a complex undertaking, but it is one that is often necessary. If your company is facing a similar situation as what was just described, you should find out what types of legal actions you might take to enforce your copyright.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Kmart Accused of Copyright Infringement Over Halloween Banana Costume," Jonathan Stempel, Sep. 28, 2017

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