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Covington patent claim vindicated in court

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has ruled that Covington Industries' pattern "Maxwell" was sufficiently creative and original to validate Covington's copyright in the design.

The issue was raised in connection with Covington's action against American Decorative Fabrics, Inc., Charles Nichols and his Tupelo, Mich.-based distributing company, Techstyle Fabric, for copyright infringement. American Decorative Fabric (ADF) is an affiliate of Home Fashions International and Westgate Fabrics.

In the action, Covington alleges that a plaid being marketed and sold by ADF and the other defendants, under the name Highland, infringes upon the copyright of Covington's highly successful plaid design, Maxwell. ADF argued that Covington's copyright in the Maxwell design was invalid as the design lacked originality. In the April 5 ruling, the court held that taken together, the stripes, colors and basketweave of the Maxwell design were sufficiently creative and original to validate the copyright. The action is still proceeding on other issues.

Abby Gilmore, president and CEO of Covington, said, "Covington devotes considerable time and resources to developing new and innovative designs which give us — and our customers — a competitive advantage." She added the company "will continue to aggressively pursue these matters until those who infringe on our intellectual property rights get the message."

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