Copyright infringement lawsuit filed over quilts and pillows

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Apr. 10, 2012, 5:00am

TYLER - The author of a copyrighted poem has filed a federal lawsuit alleging several companies are selling unauthorized versions of her work on quilts and pillows.

Renee Baker filed suit against K&K Interiors Inc., Stein Mart Inc., Debra McMurray, doing business as Creative Quilts, and Carol Strawn, doing business as Full Life Photography, on April 5 in the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division.

According to the suit, Baker created and published an original poem titled "Families Are Like Quilts" in 1989. She claims that in 2012 K&K and Stein Mart began selling a pillow that includes an unauthorized copy of her poem.

Defendant McMurray is accused of making and selling a quilt that included copies of her poem. McMurray is also accused of using the poem on her advertising website.

The plaintiff is asking the court to issue an injunction to prevent the defendants from violating Baker's copyright in the "Families Are Like Quilts" works and for an award of damages for all profits the defendants have received from infringing on Baker's copyright or statutory damages in an amount of $150,000 per infringed work. She is also seeking an award of court costs and interest.

Baker filed a similar suit in August 2010 against several gift and craft shops for infringing on the "Families Are Like Quilts" poem. Court documents show that Case No. 6:10-cv-00435-MHS was voluntarily dismissed on Nov. 19, 2010.

Baker is represented by Dallas attorney Daniel V. Thompson.

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider is assigned to the case.

Case No. 6:12-cv-00251

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