an online retailer of sewing patterns files a Federal suit to preserve it's right to sell found property that was discarded

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Online retailer sues over right to sell property found.

American dream in the garbage

Livonia, Mich. (PRWEB) May 23, 2003 -- LLC today announced that it filed a federal declaratory judgment action against both pattern creators McCall pattern company and the Simplicity pattern company. seeks to have the Court rule that its discovery and later sale of abandoned pattern envelopes does not violate federal copyright and trademark laws, constitute unfair competition, or constitute tortious interference with business relations. In addition, seeks damages from the pattern companies for effectively taking down the website using broad provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and inteferring with its contractual and business relations.

By alleging copyright and trademark infringement, the pattern companies effectively caused Digital River to remove all access to the website Digital River has also been named in the suit. is seeking to prevent the two companies from inteferring any further with its ability to sell its sewing patterns on the Internet. Specifically. the complaint charges that the claims of infringement are unfounded and that has the equitable fair use rights to display pictures of products that it owns at its website for purposes of furthering the sale of such products. It further claims that the pattern companies' conduct in obtaining the removal of the website constitutes interference with a legitimate and competitive business.

"The sewing patterns that we are selling were discarded by local stores still sealed up in the shipping boxes and they are abandoned property - we retain title and are intent on selling property that we own", says Derek Gendron, owner and founder of

For three years the organization has effectively sold sewing patterns on the internet and auction sites. For the same time period, both major pattern makers referred scores of customers to Monsterpatterns as a great source for discontinued patterns. These referrals came by way of email and telephone from Simplicity and McCall employees. Only recently have the pattern companies claimed that the sale of the patterns by is unauthorized.

Due to the demands by attorneys for both companies, the hosting company Digital River, which owns, cancelled the hosting of the website.

"We have had to re-create our website, reformat all inventories and pay an attorney to research and take this case. We examined our alternatives and felt that we had no other choice but to pursue this action to protect our interests. This is another clear case of abuse of the DMCA by a large corporation against a small business", said Mr. Gendron.

Monsterpatterns owns and operates the message board It appears that from the customer comments, there is overwhelming support of the website and the customers will continue to buy the sewing patterns at 30-60% discounts of retail pricing. The suit was filed May 21, 2003 at the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Detroit division.

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