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Creative Matters takes on Korhani in copyright case
Nov '11
Creative Matters Inc., an all-woman boutique design firm specializing in the creation of responsible-luxury rugs and floor coverings, announced that the copyright infringement lawsuit it had commenced on April 28, 2011, in the Federal Court of Canada (Court File No. T-726-11) against large-scale carpet manufacturer, Korhani of Canada Inc., had been resolved by mutual agreement prior to a hearing of the issues.

“This is a real David and Goliath story,” said co-founder Carol Sebert. “When the designer of our popular and unique NOVA carpet discovered what looked to be a low-end version of her design (entitled “Betria Starburst”) at the Brick furniture she was outraged, and so were we.” Creative Matters' carpet was hand knotted in wool and silk, whereas the Betria Starburst was machine made with synthetic fibres.

According to court documents, when she first laid eyes on Korhani's Betria Starburst, Creative Matters senior designer Ana Cunningham was, “completely shocked and felt that it was a rip off of the NOVA artistic work.” She went on to say in her affidavit, “I felt that this was an extremely bold and unfair way for Korhani to cash in on one of our most popular and award-nominated designs.”

Although the costs for taking on Korhani – a relative giant in the Canadian carpet industry – were likely to be challenging for the boutique firm, Sebert and Creative Matters co-founder Donna Hastings, were united in their desire to take a stand. After the discovery, they retained a leading copyright litigation firm and immediately set about taking legal action to protect their copyrighted work, their employee's creative integrity and their firm's award-winning reputation as a designer and manufacturer of unique, socially responsible, hand-made rugs.

The lawsuit was officially resolved on November 1, 2011, before going to court. “We're hoping that the action we undertook to protect our copyright will make more people – both at home and abroad – think twice before trying to ride on our creative coat tails,” adding, “Big companies should never underestimate the little guy.”

Established in 1988, Creative Matters Inc. designs and manufactures original rugs and floor coverings. With carpets in more than 40 countries, Creative Matters' international clientele ranges from such high-end retailers as Gucci, Tom Ford and Louis Vuitton to hotels, corporate offices and residences including St. Regis Hotel (Mexico City), JWA Marriott Hotel (Kazakhstan), Bank of Butterfield (Bermuda) and Canadian diplomatic residences and embassies in more than 35 locations.

Creative Matters Inc

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