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Knockoff Oscar Peddler Owes Academy Big Bucks

AUSTIN (CN) - A Texas man must pay the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences $375,000 for selling knockoffs of the famed Oscar statue online, a federal judge ruled.

The academy sued Jaime De La Rosa, of Round Rock, this past February for copyright and trademark infringement, false designation of origin, false representation and trademark dilution. It claimed De La Rosa sold at least nine replicas on eBay in September and October 2013. A statue listed in November 2013 was asking for $850.

The academy said it asked De La Rosa back in 2013 to turn over all replicas he had, disclose how many he had sold and identify their source. It said he responded by sending one counterfeit statute and a letter stating he had taken down the eBay listings and would never again sell the knockoffs.

De La Rosa also claimed that he had no statues remaining and had sold only six of the figurines.

Though he repeated these assertions in a signed December 2013 declaration, the academy nursed its doubts.

"After January 2, 2013, the academy leaned of De La Rosa's Etsy shop, through which De La Rosa was offering a counterfeit Oscar statuette for sale for $5,000," the complaint alleged. "De La Rosa's knowing and repeated violations of the Academy's intellectual property rights in the 'Oscar' statuette, continued refusal to comply with the Academy's attempts to enforce its copyright and trademarks, and perjury is therefore willful."

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks granted the academy summary judgment on July 11, awarding it $75,000 for its copyright claims and $300,000 for its trademark claims. The latter figure represents $100,000 each for the use of the statuette design, the "Oscar" mark and the "Academy Award" mark.

De La Rosa has 10 days to hand over any remaining replicas.

The academy did not immediate respond to a request for comment Tuesday.


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