Art Sculptor Says Clothier Took Advantage

     AUSTIN, Texas (CN) – A British light sculptor claims U.S.-based Lucy Apparel misappropriated his works to promote its line of womenswear.
     Bruce Munro and his studio sued Lucy Activewear, Lucy Apparel, VF Outdoor and VF Corporation in Travis County Court on Aug. 10.
     Munro describes himself as a “globally acclaimed and internationally recognized” artist known for his large light-based installations, sculptures and exhibitions. His works have been exhibited around the world, including at the Guggenheim Museum’s 50th anniversary celebration.
     Defendant VF Corp. is a $12 billion apparel and footwear powerhouse with more than 30 brands, according to its website, including North Face, Lee, Wrangler, Nautica, Timberland, Vans, and Lucy Activewear.
     Munro calls his two most famous works, the “Forest of Light” and “Field of Light,” his “calling card,” which “hold inestimable value to Munro’s business and livelihood.”
     He claims the defendants approached him about doing an ad campaign using his signature works, and “explicitly agreed and specifically promised to keep all provided materials confidential.”
     He says he provided the materials, whereupon the defendants cut off contact. He assumed they had decided against it. In fact, he says, they cook up a national ad campaign “unabashedly modeled after and on Munro’s ‘Field of Light’ and ‘Forest of Light’ works.”
     He believes the ad campaign helped the defendants sell tens of millions of dollars in apparel and merchandise. They kicked off the campaign in Boston with a “Light Forest” exhibition.
     Munro’s attorney Carl Schwenker told Courthouse News: “We are confident that a jury, the court, and virtually anyone else will not upon reviewing the evidence view their intentional choice of that name as mere coincidence or happenstance.”
     Schwenker said defendants’ Light Forest exhibition and campaign have netted them 307 million media impressions and 100,000 in-person visitors.
     “Industry benchmarks value live attendees at $20-$100 a person and PR media impression at roughly $12/thousand, which amounts to millions of dollars more in valuable publicity for them,” he said.
     VF Corporation’s director of corporate communications said the company does not comment on pending litigation.
     Munro seeks actual and exemplary damages for fraud, tortious interference, usurpation of business, misappropriation, trademark infringement, unfair competition, conspiracy and unjust enrichment, an accounting and an injunction.

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