Lashbrook Sues Manly Bands for Allegedly Copying Designs
The wedding band company is also accusing its former customer of removing watermarks from Lashbrook images for its own use.
Draper, Utah-based Lashbrook creates custom wedding bands using unique materials and inlays, like titanium and Damascus steel, selling them online and through its retail partners.
Manly Bands, which also is based in Utah, was founded by a husband-and-wife team in 2016.
The lawsuit, filed Dec. 1 in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, Utah, consists of 30 separate causes of action, including claims of copyright infringement, copyright management information violations, unfair competition, unlawful activity, and civil conspiracy.
It names Manly Bands LLC along with company co-founders and co-CEOs Johnathan Ruggiero and Michelle Luchese and company President Marshall Smith as defendants.
In an emailed statement, Manly Bands called the accusations made in the lawsuit “misguided and meritless.”
“While we have not yet been served with the lawsuit, we understand that Lashbrook is accusing us of doing things that either did not happen, are not illegal, or, in many instances, we were expressly permitted by them to do,” the statement reads.
“We are disappointed that a valued vendor and manufacturing partner of ours, who has received millions of dollars in business from us, has chosen to retaliate in this way in response to a customer’s responsible business decision to adjust its manufacturing strategy, as we have. However, if Lashbrook decides to stand behind its false claims, we will look forward to demonstrating that the claims are misguided and meritless.”
Lashbrook also claims Manly Bands wrote software code to steal images from Lashbrook’s servers, erase the watermarks and display the rings on the Manly Bands website.
In the suit, Lashbrook noted its website URL can be found within the HTML code of images on the Manly Bands website, which it said is evidence the images were taken right from its website.
Lashbrook alleged Manly Bands is showing these images with the watermarks removed to manufacturers to create copies of its designs.
Manly Bands has been a customer of Lashbrook since 2018, according to court documents, and has purchased “tens of thousands” of wedding bands from the company.
In 2021, the two were in negotiation to continue their partnership, but Lashbrook then learned that Manly Bands was allegedly having its most popular designs recreated by a manufacturer in China.
Lashbrook said it told Manly Bands that its designs were protected by copyright, but, “Manly Bands denied that Lashbrook owned copyrights in any of its jewelry designs and claimed that jewelry was not entitled to copyright protection.”
In 2022, Manly Bands told Lashbrook it would “substantially” reduce the number of products it purchased from it and began manufacturing wedding bands in its own facilities.
“Manly Bands even requested the computer design files for certain Lashbrook designs. But when that request was refused, Manly Bands proceeded to make near-identical copies without authorization, attribution, or payment of royalties,” Lashbrook said in the suit.
The lawsuit seeks damages and an injunction, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs.
“Our innovative ring designs are protected by copyright law, and this lawsuit seeks to protect our innovation and prevent unfair competition,” Lashbrook founder and CEO Eric Laker said in a press release about the lawsuit.
The upcoming show will have an immersive “47th Street Experience” for attendees.
Distinguishing natural diamonds from laboratory-grown stones – now more available than ever – has been difficult for jewelers. Until now.
Ukrainian jewelry designer Valeriya Guzema’s charitable “Freedom” collection is inspired by hope for the country’s future.
The WaxJet 400, recognized as the world's fastest wax printer, is bringing in a new era of precision and efficiency to industry.
Set to be held in Venice, it’s a look through the maison’s history.
Sebastian Clarke and Katherine van Dell, frequent appraisers on “Antiques Roadshow,” will join the new office.
Sherry Smith dishes on the month’s highs and lows and the two categories consumers were loving ahead of Valentine’s Day.
Gorman was an industry trailblazer, serving as the first female treasurer of Jewelers of America.
The movement of the 18-karat gold and diamond “Tennessee Torque” necklace is subtle.
Industry veteran Gina D’Onofrio has rejoined the auction house.
“Power of Couture” recalls Frédéric Boucheron’s love of fabric using diamonds and rock crystal.