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Open Hearts is suing over copyright infringement


#1

Hi,

I’ve just read in JCK online that Sterling Jewelers, maker of the
Jane Seymour “Open Hearts” collection is suing two companies over
copyright infringement.

Sterling Jewelers filed suit in federal court against two
companies which it says have infringed on the copyrighted
designs of its popular Open Hearts by Jane Seymour jewelry
line, which is the protected work of the actress and artist,
the company says.

Sterling Jewelers filed separate actions against ULTRA Stores,
currently in Chapter 11, and Gold Star Jewelry. The actions
allege the two companies copied, reproduced, distributed and
sold unauthorized copies of Sterling’s product.

Sterling filed the complaint against GoldStar in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The action against ULTRA was filed in the United States
Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

The complaints ask that ULTRA and GoldStar stop copying,
reproducing and distributing the copyrighted designs and
provide damages to Sterling.

I find this a little intriguing because in the adverts; Jane Seymour
states quite clearly that she would like the “Open Hearts” design to
become an international symbol. I was thinking how could that happen
unless she was offering the design as open sourced or free to use.

What do others think about this? Do you feel this is duplicitous?

Dan


#2

Dan and tutti-

No comment from me re the ridiculous law suit but a comment
regarding the vapid ridiculous jewelry Seymour has “designed”.
Weren’t all of our student projects more significant and more
artistically relevant than that boring stuff she’s selling?

Marly


#3
I find this a little intriguing because in the adverts; Jane
Seymour states quite clearly that she would like the "Open Hearts"
design to become an international symbol. I was thinking how could
that happen unless she was offering the design as open sourced or
free to use.
What do others think about this? Do you feel this is duplicitous? 

No. She has every right to her design, which she developed, and no
doubt spent a good deal of money on advertising and promoting and
marketing. It’s not at all unreasonable considering her efforts to
market it, that her hopes for it to be an international symbol would
include that happening within a framework of the design being
produced by manufacturers licensed to do so. Nowhere in the marketing
does she suggest that the design should be public domain.

While it might be a nice and emotionally satisfying thing were she
do make it public domain, there’s really no reason to do so, nor any
altruistic cause that would benefit if she did. After all, this is
merely a design to promote a general attitude or emotion. Like a
design aimed to portray love… It’s not specifically benefiting
anyone or anything with that design. If the “open hearts” concept
seems somehow more universal, I’d suggest it’s no more so than, for
example, DeBeers “journey” or any other of the many recent jewelry
designs intended to aim at some emotional heartstring. It’s a well
done marketing campaign intended to sell jewelry. Nothing more.

Peter


#4
What do others think about this? Do you feel this is duplicitous? 

Well personally, I think this kind of thing is just stupid. Some
actress/celebrity decides they are going to become a jewelry
"designer" and do a little sketch of something and they slap a name
on it and sue the pants off anyone who does the same thing. I’ve
been using hearts in my jewelry for over 25 years and at some time or
another I know I’ve done hearts that are open. And I did them long
before Jane Seymour came along and decided she was a designer. Maybe
I should bring a suit against her.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
www.spirerjewelers.com


#5

In saying she would like the “Open Hearts” design to become an
international symbol, she is simply saying in my opinion, that she
would like it to be sold on an international level by the
manufacturer that she is involved with. Not that it is available for
an international rip-off.

She would like it to mean something special to people of all walks
and would be instantly recognizable. The peace symbol comes to
mind…

Peace,
Karen


#6

Interesting situation. If she has the copyright on the design she is
probably holding all of the cards. To say that she wants them to
become the international symbol doesn’t mean that she is willing to
let other people copy the design. She may be willing to let others
use the design for some products/services on a case by case basis,
rather like licensing. It should be interesting to see how the cases
are resolved. If you hear more let us know.

Pat Gebes


#7

It easily could have been Kay same the pendant design and just hired
Jame Seymour to say she invented it.

David S. Geller
JewelerProfit


#8
It easily could have been Kay same the pendant design and just
hired Jame Seymour to say she invented it.

I would guess along the same lines as David on this one. Having no
idea what anyone was talking about. I Googled, went to the site and
looked. Then I sat down, shook my head and had a good chuckle…

Lisa, (wishing the summer would hurry up and get here!) Topanga, CA
USA

www.byzantia.com


#9

According to Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewelry

beads of Nassarius shells of approximately 100,000 years have been
found and are thought to be the earliest jewelry. Not that it is
impossible, but I would think it is particularly difficult to come up
with new and innovative ideas after 100,000 years.

Would the open heart design meet the need to be minimally original?
I guess we’ll find out as it wends it’s way through the courts.

I looked at Kay’s Open Hearts page. Perhaps I’m just a curmudgeon
lacking in romance, but to me it looks more like a slightly art
nouveau-ish S or a long necked bird like a swan or a goose. Please
don’t tell Jane I said that. I’m sure it would spoil our next date.
hahaha

Mike DeBurgh, GJG
Henderson, NV


#10

Mike, at least you didn’t look at it and think “whoa… boob
jewelry?” like I just did.

LOL.

Cate


#11

Its a simple design cant see why you would want to have it
copywrited… just my opinion.

Anthony Galea Designer Jeweller


#12

I totaly agree with you Daniel, ive made pieces of jewellery in the
past thinking they were my own design and only to come across it in
the later in the future with miner changes, and the people who made
the design were in another country, even before i started adding my
designs on the internet. The real designers are the ones who make
what they design not just design and pass it onto a real craftsman to
make them look good. again just my opinion :slight_smile:

Anthony Galea Designer Jeweller


#13

Ironic…a woman who was born Joyce Frankenberg, none of whose
spouses were named Seymour, is suing someone for copying. I wonder
where the inspiration came from for taking a stage name that is just
a tiny bit reminiscent of Henry’s 3rd wife, a name that has carried
a certain noteworthiness for centuries. I think the word is glom.

I’m reasonably sure I’ve seen open hearts at the beginning of my
career, long time ago, they just weren’t put tip to tip and aspiring
to be international $ymbols.


#14

Jane Seymour’s hearts look more like a “Z” or the number 2. I find
it very irritating every time I see it. My youngest daughter is into
hearts and only hearts. She has the same reaction and so does my
husband, the architect. The thing that Seymour has going for her is
celebrity and marketing. That is a lot, but I am sure your heart
designs are far superior.


#15

My opinion is that if there is a copyright, regardless of what
anyone’s personal snipy remarks are about her celebrity or her
design, the basic foundation of having a system to protect someone’s
right to have an exclusive on a design on what they created works
the same for you as it does for Jane Seymour. I personally would not
mind having a company behind one of my designs that has over 1400
stores with 21,000 sales associates available to that has over 1400
stores with 21,000 sales associates available to represent my work. I
guess no one is going to send Jane free jewelry with the dream of
getting noticed and become rich and famous.

Richard Hart G.G.
Jewelers Gallery
Denver, Co.


#16

I looked at Jane Seymour’s open heart design. This has to be a joke.
That little squiggly thing the object of a lawsuit. Whoa. Set a
couple of diamonds in a squiggle, tout it as having been designed
by (and I use the phrase “designed by”) Jane Seymour, and suddenly it
is so popular that it is at the center of a lawsuit. What is even
more surprising is that people are buying it.

Alma Rands


#17

Here is another snippy remark… now these designs are worth
copywriting http://www.vancleef-arpels.com

Anthony Galea Designer Jeweller


#18
I guess no one is going to send Jane free jewelry with the dream
of getting noticed and become rich and famous

very astute Richard! got a good laugh out of this one…rer


#19

Richard,

the basic foundation of having a system to protect someone's right
to have an exclusive on a design on what they created works the
same for you as it does for Jane Seymour.

Unfortunately, this is the problem. The system does NOT work the
same for you or me as it does for Jane Seymour. Ever tried to hire a
lawyer? Particularly over an issue like this? You don’t get into just
thousands of dollars on copyright cases. You get into tens of
thousands if they don’t go anywhere. If they go to court you’re
dealing with hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in
legal fees to pursue them. If you win, that’s great because you can
often recoup legal fees (assuming the company you’re going after has
that much money themselves—not often the case) but if you lose,
you’re out all of that money (and if the company you sue doesn’t
have the money or goes out of business because of the suit then
you’re still out the legal costs). The system is extremely unfairly
weighted to those who have huge pockets, David Yurman being another
example. Did he invent the torques that he has copyrighted, and
pursues copyright on so aggressively? No, the Celts did quite awhile
before he was alive. But he has the deep pockets to aggressively
pursue the copyrights that were somehow awarded to him on those
designs (first one to ask for it??).

So I went back and looked at some of my wife’s older pieces. I use
hearts in many of the things I give her. I found a myriad of open
heart designs in them, going back twenty years. So should I sue Jane
Seymour? I did it first. I could prove it if I wanted to. But,
honestly, who gives a damn? If the best she can come up with is
something I was doing twenty years ago, I feel sorry for her.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
www.spirerjewelers.com


#20
tout it as having been designed by (and I use the phrase "designed
by") Jane Seymour, and suddenly it is so popular that it is at the
center of a lawsuit. What is even more surprising is that people
are buying it.

Apparently we on this forum have the ability and discretion to judge
and critique the creativity of others? To have an opinion is one
thing, to judge that others should hold the same opinion, seems
juvenile. Her symbol is about having an open heart…which I think she
would have to have to read these posts. Again, this tread started as
a result of someone having a problem with a suit for copyright
infringement, not a suit over her design ability or celebrity or her
right to market her design.

To be small privately is one thing, but to do it publicly might be
something to think about. Like gossip, much more fun for the person
spreading it than for those who have to listen to it. Click, I am out
of this one.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.