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Case 1:16-cv-01645 Document 1 Filed 03/03/16 Page 1 of 5

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

ALVIN & SPARKY, LLC,


Plaintiff,
v.

16 Civ. 1645
(Jury Trial Demanded)

RALPH LAUREN CORPORATION,


Defendants.

COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Alvin & Sparky, LLC (A&S), by and through its attorneys Ostrager Chong
Flaherty & Broitman P.C., for its Complaint against defendant Ralph Lauren Corporation (RL)
avers as follows:
PARTIES
1.

A&S is a limited liability company organized and existing under the laws of the

state of New York with its principal place of business located at 698 West End Avenue, #15D,
New York, New York 10025.
2.

RL is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the state of Delaware

with its principal place of business located at 650 Madison Avenue, New York, New York
10022.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
3.

This is an action for copyright infringement arising under the Copyright Act of

1976, as amended, 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq.

Case 1:16-cv-01645 Document 1 Filed 03/03/16 Page 2 of 5

4.

This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1331 and

5.

Venue is proper in this District pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1391 (b) and (c) and

1338.

1400 (a).
BACKGROUND FACTS
6.

A&S and its sole owner, Samantha Goldberg, designs and handcrafts cashmere

stuffed animals and accessory products of the finest quality for babies and young children.
A&Ss stuffed animal line includes, among others, teddy bears, puppy dogs, rabbits, turtles, and
elephants. A&S has been marketing its handcrafted stuffed animals to specialty retailers and
department stores throughout the world since 1998. A&Ss stuffed animals are made by hand in
New York City of the highest quality cashmere imported from Scotland.
7.

A&S markets its stuffed animal line and accessories under the brand name

ALVIN & SPARKY, and on a private label basis to select clients, including RL and Harrods.
The ALVIN & SPARKY product line is shown and offered for sale to the public at A&Ss
website www.alvinandsparky.com.
8.

Among A&Ss most notable stuffed animals is a teddy bear with an original

design as shown in Exhibit A (the A&S Teddy Bear).


9.

The A&S Teddy Bear has been duly registered in the United States Copyright

Office under United States Copyright Registration No. VA 1-936-632 dated November 20, 2014,
annexed as Exhibit A.
10.

At all relevant times herein, A&S has been and still is the sole owner of all

copyright rights in the A&S Teddy Bear and the U.S. Copyright Registration for such rights.

Case 1:16-cv-01645 Document 1 Filed 03/03/16 Page 3 of 5

11.

In or about the summer of 2001, RL placed orders with A&S for its cashmere

puppy dog stuffed animal. Thereafter, in the fall of 2001, RL ordered A&Ss Teddy Bear. RL
continues to order the A&S Teddy Bear in four sizes and other animals from A&Ss stuffed
animal line up to the present time. A&S provided its animal designs to RL on a private label
basis. A representative collection of A&Ss designs which RL presently features in its childrens
stores and through its on-line store at www.ralphlauren.com is shown in Exhibit B.
RLs Infringement of the A&S Teddy Bear
12.

In or about September 2013, A&S learned that RL had commenced marketing

non-cashmere teddy bears which are copied from and substantially identical to the A&S Teddy
Bear. As contrasted with A&Ss Teddy Bears which market at retail for $170 (Little Teddy)
and $195 (Big Teddy), RL has offered and continues to offer its non-cashmere teddy bears for
retail prices in the range of $24.50 to $49.50. RL markets its non-cashmere teddy bears at retail
throughout the United States, including in this Judicial District, and abroad through mass market
channels including RLs company stores, RLs outlet stores, RLs on-line store at
www.ralphlauren.com, and through third-party retailers such as Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor,
Macys, Saks Fifth Avenue, Dillards and BonTon. Examples of RLs non-cashmere teddy bears
are shown in Exhibit C-1 (www.ralphlauren.com), Exhibit C-2 (www.bloomingdales.com),
Exhibit C-3 (www.saksfifthavenue.com), Exhibit C-4 (www.lordandtaylor.com), Exhibit C-5
(www1.macys.com/shop), Exhibit C-6 (www.dillards.com) and Exhibit C-7
(www.bonton.com).
13.

In or about the same period, RL began to market cashmere top and pant sets for

babies with images of the A&S Teddy Bear reproduced from A&Ss website. A&Ss website

Case 1:16-cv-01645 Document 1 Filed 03/03/16 Page 4 of 5

showing an image of its A&S Teddy Bear, and the RL top and pant set including the A&S Teddy
Bear are shown in Exhibits D-1 and D-2, respectively.
14.

At no time did A&S give permission to RL to copy or create derivative works

based upon the A&S Teddy Bear. On the contrary, A&S has objected to RLs marketing of the
unauthorized RL non-cashmere teddy bears and sweaters including images of the A&S Teddy
Bear, and has continued to lodge objection to the present.
AS AND FOR A CAUSE OF ACTION
(Copyright Infringement)
15.

A&S repeats and realleges each and every allegation contained in paragraphs 1

through 14 as if fully set forth herein.


16.

The aforementioned acts of RL constitute infringement of plaintiffs copyright in

the A&S Teddy Bear in violation of Sections 106 and 501 et seq. of the Copyright Act of 1976,
as amend (17 U.S.C. 501 et seq.).
17.

Unless permanently enjoined by order of this Court, RLs infringement of

plaintiffs copyright rights in the A&S Teddy Bear will cause plaintiff irreparable injury for
which he has no adequate remedy at law.
18.

Plaintiff is entitled to actual damages for this infringement and RLs profits

pursuant to Sections 501, 502 and 504 of the Copyright Act of 1976, as amended (17 U.S.C.
501, 502, and 504).
WHEREFORE, plaintiff Alvin & Sparky, LLC prays for judgment against Ralph Lauren
Corporation as follows:
1.

Declaring that RL violated Section 106 of the Copyright Act of 1976, as amended

(17 U.S.C. 106) by infringing plaintiffs copyright rights and awarding actual damages and lost

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