A case accusing Aritzia of stealing an artist’s work with its hot pink, squiggle-shaped sculptures that debuted in stores in early 2023 has been dismissed by a federal judge in the United States. Judge Jeffrey White stated in his ruling that Richard X. Zawitz was attempting to preserve the fundamental aesthetic of his work, known as Tangle sculptures, rather than a single, fixed item covered by copyright laws. “Tangle seeks copyright protection for an indefinite concept, essentially requesting the Court to affix jelly to the wall,” the judge from the Northern District of California stated in his ruling last autumn. “Style, no matter how creative, is an idea, and is not protectable by copyright.” The retailer located in Vancouver has won a legal battle thanks to the ruling.
He said that the “palm metallic pink” option available in his online store was created using Aritzia’s work and included a hot pink, chrome finish. According to Zawitz’s lawsuit, his Tangle designs have been protected by copyright since the 1980s. “Any sculptures consisting of 18 interlocking 90-degree curved pieces, and that any variations in size, finish, or positioning are protected derivative works,” he claimed in court, citing his copyright protection. Because Tangle components are so adjustable, the adjudicator disapproved. “Tangle cannot claim ownership of every conceivable iteration of tubular sculptures made of interlocking 90-degree segments merely because its own such sculptures can be manipulated into any configuration,” White stated. “Only works that are ‘fixed’ are subject to copyright protection.”