A poet and pillow-maker has filed a copyright infringement suit against department store chain Stein Mart Inc. as well as K&K Interiors Inc., Debra McMurray DBA Creative Quilts and Carol Strawn DBA Full Life Photography.
Renee Baker claims that the defendants created and sold a decorative pillow that includes a portion of her copyrighted poem, "Families Are Like Quilts," which she wrote in 1989. The case is Baker v. K&K Interiors, 6:12-cv-00251, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Tyler).
Baker worked the poem into a stitchery pattern and copyrighted that as well in 2005. In August 2010, she sued several craft stores and gift shops for infringing the copyrighted poem, but the case was voluntarily dismissed just three months later.
In the present case, Baker seeks an injunction to prevent other "Families Are Like Quilts" works, an award of court costs, and an award for damages on all profits arising from the infringement or statutory damages in the amount of $150,000 per infringed work.
Baker has requested a jury trial, and for her sake, we hope the jurors are partial to treacly needlework projects. But we wonder if she's aware that a search for "Families Are Like Quilts" brings up a number of individual sewing, quilting and arts and crafts websites, as well as a needlepoint kit on Amazon.com. Is it too late to put the genie back in the, um, sewing box?