“Artist Romero Britto is suing Apple Inc. and a design firm in federal court, accusing them of misusing his color-splashed images and distinctive style in marketing campaigns,” Curt Anderson reports for The Associated Press. “Britto, whose Miami Beach studio and gallery is about a block from an Apple store, has licensing deals for his art with numerous corporations and other entities ranging from Coca-Cola to Mattel and the FIFA soccer organization.”
“The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Cupertino, California-based Apple and the design duo Craig Redman of New York and Karl Maier of London, whose company is called Craig & Karl,” Anderson reports. “Apple’s ‘Start Something New’ marketing campaign was cited in the lawsuit as one recent example of misuse of Britto art. One image, an outstretched hand with colorful designs flowing from a fingertip, was licensed from Craig & Karl by Apple.”
“Even if an image is not an exact copy, Britto attorneys say in the lawsuit his use of bright colors and repeating patterns is so distinctive that imitations are instantly viewed as his own work,” Anderson reports. “In fact, when the Apple ‘Start Something New’ campaign appeared, Britto received messages congratulating him, incorrectly, for what appeared to be a new business deal with Apple. Some of his existing business partners expressed ‘consternation’ about the supposed deal, according to the lawsuit.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Yeesh. “Start Something New,” indeed.
On the face of it, and that’s what really matters here, The Craig & Karl stuff certainly seems evocative of Britto’s. Whether that’s “illegal” or not will be interesting to find out.
After the Mac, the iPhone, and the iPad, among other things, certainly Apple themselves would side with the originator, right?
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “BD” and “Edward W.” for the heads up.]