Calgary artist accuses West Elm of copying her work on duvet cover
Published Sunday, September 30, 2018 6:58PM EDT
A Calgary artist is accusing a home decor retailer of copyright infringement after noticing a duvet cover that looks eerily similar to her painting that hung in one of the company’s stores.
Jill Paddock’s blue, yellow and white abstract painting of flowers sat as a display in the Calgary West Elm for eight months before it was taken down in June. Then earlier this month, Paddock received a message from a friend indicating that a duvet cover was reminiscent of her work.
“She saw this bedding and was like: 'Oh that looks a lot like Jill's,” Paddock told CTV News. “She sent me a text: ‘Is this yours? Is this a collaboration you did?’"
Paddock called the company, whose lawyers denied any wrongdoing. They told her the company bought a purchased pattern and worked off that design to create the duvet cover, but Paddock doesn’t think the purchased pattern looks anything like the linen on West Elm’s store shelves.
“To me it looks nothing like the actual product and my painting looks way more like the actual product than their purchased pattern,” she said.
In a statement to CTV News, West Elm says it would never intentionally infringe on someone’s work and is looking into the matter.
“We have been thoroughly reviewing the development and design of the organic abstract petals duvet,” the company said. “We design 90 (per cent) of our products ourselves from our Brooklyn, N.Y. headquarters to ensure we maintain our authenticity and unique design perspective. We are continuing to research the matter and will provide updates as appropriate.”
Paddock said that while she’s frustrated, she’s also relieved the company is investigating.
“People make paintings that look like flowers, I get that,” she said. “What I'm trying to say is it sure is a frighteningly similar piece of art."