Norfolk artist suing Target over cell phone cover designs

Cell Phone Designs

Cell Phone DesignsNorfolk artist suing Target over cell phone cover designs

Kelsie McNair’s “Morning Dew” cell phone design is at right. A design Target is selling on its Website is at left.
1 of 2 photos: Kelsie McNair’s “Morning Dew” cell phone design is at right. A design Target is selling on its Website is at left.

Do these cellphone cases look alike?

A Norfolk artist is suing Target in U.S. District Court, saying the retailer and one of its suppliers are ripping off her designs.

The cellphone covers are decorated with flowers and plants.

Kelsie McNair – owner of With Lavender and Lace in Norfolk – calls one of her designs “Lemon and Honey.” The other is entitled “Morning Dew.”

According to her lawsuit, McNair started selling her cellphone covers in August 2013 over the Internet. McNair later discovered Target was selling similar covers under the Target-owned “Merona” brand. She first spotted the covers in a store in Everett, Wash., but later saw them in Virginia Beach, Spotsylvania and online, the lawsuit said.

McNair subsequently applied for copyright protection for “Lemon and Honey” on April 22 and “Morning Dew” on May 20, the lawsuit said.

McNair is suing Target and Weihai Luda Craft Co. Ltd., the Chinese company that supplies the retailer with the covers.

The lawsuit claims copyright, vicarious and contributory infringement. It seeks $300,000 in damages, an injunction to stop Target from selling the covers, and attorney fees.

A Target spokeswoman declined Thursday to comment on the lawsuit, as did McNair’s attorney, Duncan Byers.

“What else can I say?” Byers said. “The cellphone covers tell the story.”

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