NJ Woman Claims Fashion School, Barnes & Noble Stole Her Design
iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Fashion Institute of Technology graduate who is suing her alma mater and Barnes & Noble for selling a backpack she designed without, she argues, giving her any profits says it is “confusing” to see her backpack on the streets.
“It is a very confusing feeling knowing that my backpack is my design and I see people on the street wearing it all the time and I have not received any monetary value for it at all,” Diana Rubio told ABC News.
Rubio, 33, from Carlstadt, New Jersey, was a Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) student in 2010 when she designed “The Everything Backpack” for a class project.
In a copyright-infringement lawsuit filed Monday in Manhattan Federal Court, Rubio claims the New York City school entered her design in Barnes & Noble’s “Back to Campus” contest and she won.
The bookstore then began selling her bag for $39.95 and identifying Rubio as the backpack’s designer both on its website and on a tag inside the bag.
Rubio’s lawsuit claims that she “has received no payment…nor has she authorized the manufacture, marketing and sale of such backpacks.”
“I did receive the formal paperwork that goes with if someone is going to produce your bag — the sign-your-rights-away waiver — but I did not sign it,” Rubio told ABC News. “I feel a little bit betrayed,” she said.
Barnes & Noble responded to the lawsuit by saying the issue is between Rubio and her alma mater.
“We pay royalty fees to FIT for student designs…this matter is between FIT and Ms. Rubio,” the bookstore chain said in a statement to ABC News.
FIT officials told ABC News they are aware of the lawsuit and looking into it.
“Although we have not been formally served with the lawsuit, we are aware of it and we have begun our fact finding to learn the circumstances and, if appropriate, do right by Ms. Rubio,” the school said in a statement.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
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