Lashbrook Sues Manly Bands for Allegedly Copying Designs

MajorsDec 07, 2023

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.

Lashbrook ring
Lashbrook has filed a lawsuit against former customer Manly Bands for allegedly copying its designs.
Draper, Utah—Lashbrook has filed a lawsuit against Manly Bands, accusing the online retailer and former Lashbrook customer of stealing its designs.

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 court document screenshot
A screenshot of a side-by-side comparisons provided in court documents showing two Lashbrook rings (left) beside the alleged copies by Manly Bands

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.

Lashbrook court document screenshot
A screenshot from court documents showing Lashbrook’s URL within HTML code from Manly Bands’ website

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.”

 Related stories will be right here … 

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.

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