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Case 3:16-cv-02208-HZ

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Robert Swider OSB # 82127
Alex Gund OSB # 114067
Swider Haver LLP
621 SW Morrison, Suite 1420
Portland, OR 97205-3897
Telephone: (503) 226-8122
Facsimile: (503) 295-2737
robert@swiderhaver.com
of Attorneys for Plaintiff

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF OREGON
Jeremy Nichols,
Plaintiff,
v.
Vans, Inc., a Delaware Corporation,
Defendants.

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Case No.
COMPLAINT
COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
DEMAND FOR A JURY TRIAL

JURISDICTION AND VENUE
1. This is an action for copyright infringement arising under the Copyright Act, 17 USC §
101 et seq. This court has jurisdiction over these federal claims pursuant to 28 USC §§ 1331 and
1338 (a).
2. Venue is proper in this district under 28 USC §§ 1391 (c) and § 1400(b) because
Defendant Vans, Inc. (“Vans”) is deemed to reside in the District of Oregon as it is subject to
personal jurisdiction in Oregon at the time this case was commenced.

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FACTUAL BACKGROUND
3. Plaintiff Mr. Jeremy Nichols (“Plaintiff”) is an individual in the business of creating and
selling visual artistic works. Plaintiff resides in Portland, Oregon, and Plaintiff's place of
business is located in Portland, Oregon. Mr. Nichols works in various media creating fine art,
public art typically as interior or exterior murals, commercial art and design.
4. In May 2008, Mr. Nichols presented various artworks to Kingsrowe, LLC, an Ohio
limited liability company DBA Sole Classics (“Sole Classics”), for installation at the Sole
Classics’ store in Columbus, Ohio, which artworks are collectively titled “Installation at Sole
Classics” (the “Artwork”).
5. The Artwork was registered with the United States Copyright Office on November 23,
2010, with Copyright Registration Number VA 1-750-085. A copy of the certificate for this
registration accompanies this Complaint as Exhibit A.
6. At all material times herein, Plaintiff was the owner of all copyrights pertaining to the
Artwork.
7. Plaintiff is informed and believes that Vans is incorporated in the State of Delaware with
its principle place of business in Cypress, CA, is a subsidiary of the VF Corporation, which is a
Pennsylvania corporation headquartered in Greensboro, NC, and is engaged in the business of
the manufacture and sales of shoes, t-shirts, hats, and various other clothing and accessory items.
8. Vans sells its wares both online, including at www.vans.com, which is directed to
residents of the State of Oregon for the purpose of soliciting sales, and also at brick and mortar
retailers in Oregon, including at least six Vans Stores and Outlets, located in Portland, Happy
Valley, Tigard, Troutdale, Eugene, and Woodburn.
9. In 2010, Plaintiff discovered that Sole Classics was producing and selling various items
of clothing that incorporated copies and derivatives of Plaintiff’s copyrighted work from the
Artwork without a license or Plaintiffs permission. Copies of images from Sole Classics’
website showing examples of these infringing uses are attached as Exhibits B-D.
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10. Plaintiff is informed and believes that Sole Classics licensed rights that it did not itself
possess in Plaintiff’s copyrighted works to Vans.
11. Plaintiff is informed and believes that in March 2016, Vans produced a limited edition
shoe titled the Sole Classics x Vans Vault Half Cab LX “10 Seasons”( the “Shoes”), which
incorporated copies and derivatives of Plaintiff’s copyrighted work from the Artwork without a
license or Plaintiffs permission.
CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(Copyright Infringement - 17 USC § 101 et seq)
12. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates by reference each and every allegation of paragraphs
1 through 11 inclusive.
13. Plaintiff is the owner of all right, title and interest to the original artwork from which the
Shoes sold by Vans were created.
14. Vans has copied, reproduced, distributed, adapted and/or publicly displayed Plaintiff's
Copyrighted Work without the consent, permission or authority of Plaintiff thereby directly
infringing Plaintiff's Copyright.
15. On July 21, 2016 Plaintiff advised Vans that he was the registered owner of a copyright
for the visual work displayed on the Shoes, and that the use of these works in the items shown in
Exhibits B-D infringed Plaintiff’s copyright.
16. Vans continued to advertise and sell the infringing items after being advised of Plaintiff’s
copyright.
17. Vans’ conduct constitutes infringement of Plaintiff's copyright and exclusive rights under
Copyright in violation of Sections 106 and 501 of the Copyright Act 17 USC §§ 106 and 501.
18. Each infringement of Plaintiff's rights in and to the Copyrighted work constitutes a
separate and distinct act of infringement.
19. As a direct and proximate result of the infringements by Vans of Plaintiff's Copyright and
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exclusive rights under Copyright, Plaintiff is entitled to his actual damages plus Vans’ profits
pursuant to 17 USC § 504 (b). Plaintiff is also entitled to prejudgment interest on any damage
award.
20. Vans’ acts of infringement have been willful, intentional and purposeful, in reckless
disregard of and with indifference to the rights of Plaintiff and therefore Plaintiff is also entitled
in the alternative to an award of statutory damages in a sum of not more than $150,000, pursuant
to 17 USC § 504 (c).
21. Plaintiff is entitled to his costs including reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred herein
pursuant to 17 USC § 505.
22. The conduct of Vans is causing, and unless enjoined and restrained by this Court, will
continue to cause irreparable injury that cannot be fully compensated in money. Plaintiff has no
adequate remedy at law. Pursuant to 17 USC § 502, Plaintiff is entitled to injunctive relief
prohibiting further infringements of his Copyright.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for Relief as follows:
1. The full amount of Plaintiff's Actual Damages plus Vans’ profits pursuant to 17 USC §
504 (b) or Statutory Damages of $150,000 for intentional and willful infringement pursuant to 17
USC § 504 (c) 2.
2. Vans’ profits from the Shoes, pursuant to 17 USC § 504 (b).
3. Plaintiff’s costs including reasonable attorneys’ fees, pursuant to17 USC § 505.
4. Prejudgment interest on any damages awarded.
5. Vans be permanently enjoined from engaging in any conduct constituting an
infringement of Plaintiff's Copyright pursuant to 17 USC § 502.
6. For Plaintiff's costs and disbursements incurred herein, pursuant to 17 USC § 502.

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JURY DEMAND
Plaintiff demands a trial by jury of all issues so triable.
DATED this 22nd day of November, 2016.
Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Robert Swider ______________________
Robert Swider OSB # 82127
Swider Haver LLP
of Attorneys for Plaintiff

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