Copyright infringement

When we were on a recent vacation in a flea-market in Southern
Florida. No city or flea-market can be released at this time, I, my
wife with some friends went into a pseudo-fashion jewellery store,
the owner said something that perked up my ears. “I copied and
knocked-off David Yurman and his designs”. Good grief, what a
irresponsible statement to make. Does he or did he even realise who
he was talking to? Was he actually bragging or putting his business
at risk for a lawyers letter. I know for a fact David Yurman has
little regard for these kind of businesses, he has a batch of
lawyers who look for these kind of enterprises. I have this persons
business card with all the pertinent

What would you Orchid folks do in this case? I was not happy when I
heard this remark…

Gerry !

I would probably inform David…I know I would want to know if
someone were deliberately copying my designs…especially if they
made a statement like that, knowing they were. There are people out
there who learned from my filigree book, so naturally, their styles
are similar, but if someone consciously started going to my site can
copying designs that were not in my book and calling them their
own…I would want to know and to do my best to stop it!


Ethics – What is the right thing to do? For me it would be to
forward the to David Yurman and let him follow up if he
wishes to.


What would you Orchid folks do in this case? I was not happy when
I heard this remark... 

You have to ask? The right thing to do is not always the comfortable
thing to do, but I’d forward the info to David Yurman. Let them
know. Then it’s their choice whether to pursue the issue or not. At
the least, if they send the guy a letter, that may stop the practice.
It may well be that some in this industry view knocking off a
designers work as something “everyone does”. That doesn’t mean we
have to tolerate it ot accept it even if it is not uncommon.


Gerald - you have the info,you spoke with them, you should decide
and act according to what you believe - goo

Gerry !

I would express my opinion directly to the store owner. He is a
thief, pure and simple. Would I tell David Yurman?

Probably not. He has a team dedicated to making the lives of
copy-cats miserable. Let them earn their money. I don’t have the
time, nor the money to be involved in protecting DY’s

"I copied and knocked-off David Yurman and his designs". [snip]
What would you Orchid folks do in this case? I was not happy when
I heard this remark... 

If it were I, I would probably have given the guy an ear-full about
ethics then and there. Now, I think I would do nothing. As you point
out, Yurman has his minions, you don’t need to do their work for
them. Isn’t Yurman the guy who tried to copyright torques? Protecting
your own designs is one thing, trying to monopolize an ancient design
is quite another. I feel no obligation to protect predators who would
be just as happy to put ME out of business!


Gerry and all Orchid members,

As an industry we all need protection from irresponsible individuals
who attempt to profit from the designs, creativity and work of
others. Yes, I would contact David Yurman. As a community of creative
individuals I believe we should rid ourselves of those who "tarnish"
our efforts and take away from our profits.


I think David Yurman is a big boy who can look out for himself,


Just curious, did you look at the designs to see if in fact he had
copied them? Could he have just been bragging to a customer to make
them think they were getting a deal on a great design? Sometimes
people will say whatever they think the customer wants to hear in
order to make a buck! :slight_smile:

I remember reading in the past about Yurman tried to copyright
something like torques… I looked at his website and his work looks
exceptionally well made, but his designs are very standard
traditional. It is not all that different than looking at the
Stuller catalog of premade jewelry, which makes it harder to claim
originality. He did however win a lawsuit for lot of money in 2000,
maybe this was the one regarding the torques…

I think that they jeweler should have been confronted. Did Gerry hear
the full context of the conversation? Did he see the piece(s) in
question? I do not think there is much that can be done, if he have
not even seen the piece and confirmed it is a knock off. All you
have right now is hearsay. It does not mean what they guy potentially
did as ok, assuming he did copy it, but that is just an assumption at
this point.

This is just my opinion,

imagine my surprise at opening a new rio grande catalog and reaching
a section found the basis for my signature design. it was obvious
that i had not escaped a copier when i had briefly put the design
online just over a year before. i called up the supporting images in
my library and contacted rio with a calm and polite explanation of
what my problem was, including the image and history. then i waited
to see if i would get an answer. i did almost immediately. a very
polite and apologetic answer. it explained the supplier was a
mexican factory (i am glad to report it wasn’t this country), and
that rio had canceled the rest of the order and was advising
customers who ordered that piece that it was no longer available. the
whole exchange with the rio representative could not have been more
civilized and easy-going. it was a relief not to have encountered
the horror situations reported by other jewelers.

at the next tucson show i went out to the rio grande ‘catalog in
motion’ venue wearing one of my signature designs, when one of the
rio staff people commented on it i repeated the catalog story,
adding, “dawn nials must be the nicest employee at rio grande.” she
then pulled aside her lapel covering her name tag, which read “Dawn
Nials”! i was never so glad that i practiced what i preached about
handling problems: start soft, you may have to fall back on your

think more now, regret less later.

I just took the initiative and made the phone call to office of
David Yurman. I abhor others infringing on someones hard labours and
copying them for their own good!

The reason is, I made a full line of casino-related jewellery and
after 6 months of hard and diligent work I avoid showing them on any
web-site. I share in the rightful owners efforts in keeping them out
of hands of unscrupulous mfgr’s. This phone call only took me 5
minutes out of my daily routine, but their office was more than very
grateful in my action taken…

Might have raised the ire of many here on Orchid, but I stood up for
what was right!..

Gerry !

and that rio had canceled the rest of the order and was advising
customers who ordered that piece that it was no longer available. 

So when Rio pulled your ‘signature design’, tell me Ive, was there
an immediate upsurge in the sales of that design?

In fact, has anyone on this list ever suffered serious and provable
financial loss from someone copying their design?

Is there actually a jewellery design in the world that has not been
done before, in some manner or other?

Somehow I doubt it.

Me thinks the ego is more at play than lost money.

Just saying.

I did hear the full context of the conversation right to my face
hearsay? no way!! “many of my knock-offs are from David Yurman” I was
so infuriated I just left his store and my wife and our 2 lady
friends viewed them all…in person! If someone wants for copy that’s
their risk, but realize he could be speaking to the wrong audience!
My case is closed!! Next thread please…:>)…

Gerry !

looked at his website and his work looks exceptionally well made,
but his designs are very standard traditional. It is not all that
different than looking at the Stuller catalog of premade jewelry,
which makes it harder to claim originality. 

not sure of your age demographic, but when Yurman first mass produced
& marketed his designs they were new and different. if his work looks
standard now it is because his work set a new design standard


"I copied and knocked-off David Yurman and his designs". Good
grief, what an irresponsible statement to make. 

I hope he didn’t actually knock off David Yurman, just his designs.
But in all seriousness I’d gladly forward his to David
or his lawyers.

Ray brown

Hi guys,

If Yurman’s lawyers are worth what he’s paying them, you already
have told them.

Through the wonderful magic of the interwebs. If they’ve got a
google alert set for the word “Yurman” (and they should) then they’ve
already twigged to this thread, and are doubtless trying to track the
guy down for a nastygram.

(nevermind that the OP said he’s already contacted Yurman directly.)

Never underestimate the power of google. Makes Big Brother look like
a lightweight.


This thread has reignited my concerns about two lines of jewelry that
I’ve designed but I am hesitant to release yet. When we come up with
something unique and geared towards particular types of customers
it’s bound to be knocked off. I empathize with the “Mother and Child”
situation as I personally know the artist who created that line and
know how it was stolen by dozens of ‘design pirates’.

Seems we have to depend on each other as well as our honest
customers to inform us when infringement is discovered. I intend to
move forward and sell the pants off of my designs but also am
prepared for the theft.

No question, imitation is NOT the highest form of flattery. I wish
the JVC or JBT could help us a bit more with this somehow.

Margie Mersky

I remember this coming up in the summer of 2006, and Daniel Spirer
gave a brilliant, I thought, answer, particularly the last

I've been reading this thread with some amusement for the last
week now. It's not a new topic on Orchid and there will probably
never be a definitive answer about some of it. What is
interesting however is the vast amount of misthat is
still out there. No matter how many times James White says it
(and he knows this better than anyone on this list)
most of you guys just don't get it. The stuff about 10 or 20%
different is hogwash, for example, as James has already
mentioned even in this latest thread. Additionally copyright is
imparted the moment you create something (which he has also said
at various times). Everyone writing about copyright on this list
should first read all of his postings on this subject in the
archives before saying anything else about it. 

Then there's the issue of original designs. I've been a jeweler
for over 35 years, and during that time I can honestly say that I
have only see about 12 "original" designs created during that
period. I mean something that is truly unique to an individual
designer who went in a completely new direction. Everything else
is built on old work. To some extent this is unavoidable. There
are limitations to what someone can physically wear on their
fingers. There are limitations to how many things you can do with
a circle. There is always going to be some overlapping and there
is also more than 2000 years of jewelry work and designs that
have already been done before you make up that "new" design. Can
two people make up the same design independently of each other.
Absolutely. It happens all the time. Look at the current
"fashion" of circle pins. How creative can you possibly be with a
circle in a pin? Sure you can set some stones in it. You can add
some pearls. You can put on some squiggles. But you know
something it's still a circle pin. If David Yurman makes it he'll
do it out of twisted wire (something the Celts did more than 1000
years ago), but it's still just a circle. The difference is that
Yurman has huge pockets and a team of lawyers working for him
and he can sue the pants off of you if he chooses to (that, mind
you, is for copying a design he copied from people who are
already dead). But if all the "designers" decide circle pins are
hot and they are going to make them up do you really think there
isn't going to be some overlap? 

Then there's the issue of derivative work. When I was very young
I did craft shows and there was a jeweler's work that I admired.
One of his "techniques" was to cut out a piece of silver in the
middle of a piece of sheet for a ring and solder a different
colored metal behind the cut out and repousse it from behind so
it puffed out. Neat idea. As I found out later not entirely
original (it had been done before although I don't know whether
he had seen it or not). But I was into making repousse/chased
faces. And I realized that you could do the same thing he was
doing only do a face in it instead of just a lumpy piece of
metal. So for a few years I made rings with repousse faces
sticking up through them. Was that stealing his design? He never
put anything like a face (or any other realistic design) on his
they were just somewhat lumpy looking. Over time I went in
different directions (although I still use faces) and they aren't
in my repertoire anymore. But the reality is that when you go
back in time far enough you see similar rings with faces. I
hadn't seen them at the time. So was my idea original because I
hadn't seen it before? Was it original if I borrowed a technique?
Frankly, I don't care as I agree with the comments that claim
most work is derivative in some way. 

For those of you who think you have an absolutely, never before
done, completely original jewelry design, I first would urge you
to research thoroughly the entire history of jewelry and see if
anything like it has been done before. Then let me know and I'll
add you to my incredibly short list of designers who have
actually come up with "original" designs. 

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.