HDRB&B Wins KIINI Bikini Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

HDRB&B’s Litigation Group has won summary judgment in favor of its client, Kiini LLC, in a S.D.N.Y. copyright infringement claim filed by a Brazilian national in 2019, alleging that Kiini had copied her bikini design, Ferrarini v. Irgit, et al., Civil No. 19-0096 (LGS).  Kiini, whose distinctive women’s swimsuits had become international fashion and Instagram sensations years before the infringement lawsuit was filed, disputed the allegation.  At the motion to dismiss stage, the district court agreed with HDRBB’s argument that the plaintiff’s copyright infringement cause of action was governed by the shorter three-year statute of limitations applicable to “ownership” claims, but ruled that discovery was needed to determine when the plaintiff first learned that Kiini claimed ownership of the bikini design. On Kiini’s motion for summary judgment, U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield was persuaded that there was no genuine dispute, based on the discovery record, that plaintiff was aware of Kiini’s claim “no later than 2015” and, on that basis, held that plaintiff’s copyright infringement claim was time barred.  The HDRBB team working on this matter included Litigation Group Chair Mark A. Berman, partners Jeremy B. Stein and Robin D. Fineman, and associate Matthew T. Reynolds.